Irish Revolutionary Tradition in Cork Workers Club’s Publications (Part 2 )

Small press publications have traditionally been the vehicle for radical political argument and providing an alternative record from the dominant narrative that makes up the general fare of public and academic publishing. Throughout the 1970s, the Cork Workers’ Club were industrious in publishing a series of historical reprints of classic texts of Irish socialist republicanism, including James Connolly. There was eventually twenty pamphlets in the series that reflected an orthodox Marxist analysis of Ireland’s radical tradition. These long out of print pamphlets had an international distribution.  

The Cork Workers Club emerged from the Cork Communist Organisation. The latter had itself been formed in 1972 in reaction to the Irish Communist Organisation’s shift from a Republican standpoint to a ’two nations’ and functionally pro-Unionist one. Through a number of organisational developments the Cork Workers’ Club, operated out of the same premises in St Nicholas Church Lane in south Cork that the republican Saor Éire had used since 1968 as its headquarters. The premises acted as a meeting place, bookshop and printing house.

Memories of CWC posted by Fintan Lane on the Irish blogsite The Cedar Lounge Revolution in 2007 recalls:

The ‘Cork Communist Organisation’ was made up largely, I believe, of the Saor Eire people (publishers of ‘People’s Voice’ etc.), who had earlier merged with the ICO. Their politics was a mixture of Marxist-Leninism (Maoism in this instance) and republicanism. My father – Jim Lane – was involved….

The CCO later morphed into the Cork Workers Club, which survived into the late 1970s as a real group and, afterwards, as a sort of publishing house. The bookshop in Nicholas Church Place remained open until the early 1980s, when it was actually an IRSP bookshop/office. It was a centre for the anti-H-Block campaign during the hunger strikes and was later used by the Release Nicky Kelly Campaign. In its early years in the late 1960s and early 1970s, public meetings were held upstairs at times. I remember once seeing a poster advertising an appearance there by Eamon McCann.

I ‘staffed’ the bookshop for a while in the early 1980s, when it was open only on Saturday and some week nights. There were some regular customers, but, as time moved on, few people slinked in besides the affiliated. Its heyday really was at the end of the 1960s and early 1970s when it was the place to go in Cork to get left-wing and republican literature. It was a genuine backstreet bookshop and when other places opened, such as the bookshop in the Quay Co-op in the early 1980s, it effectively no longer had much of a purpose. It was too far off the beaten track. A strange place, in some ways. Internet shopping would have wiped it out, had it survived that long, because it primarily dealt in political material that mainstream shops wouldn’t sell.

Source: Fintan Lane – October 30, 2007

— February 2018

THE CORK WORKERS’ CLUB ~ HISTORICAL REPRINTS

Reprints of pamphlets, booklets and newspaper articles of historical value to the study of the Socialist Movement in Ireland

 No.1   James Connolly and Irish freedom. A Marxist analysis G.Schuller

http://michaelharrison.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/James-Connolly-and-Irish-Freedom-G-Schuller-Cork-Workers-Club-1974.pdf

No.2  British Imperialism in Ireland  by  Eleanor Burns

http://michaelharrison.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/British-Imperialism-in-Ireland-A-Marxist-Historical-Analysis-Elinor-Burns-Cork-Workers-1974.pdf

No.3  Marx, Engels and Lenin on the Irish Revolution

http://collections.mun.ca/PDFs/radical/MarxEngelsAndLeninOnTheIrishRevolution.pdf

No.4    The Irish Republican Congress by George Gilmore

http://michaelharrison.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/The-Irish-Republican-Congress-George-Gilmore-Historical-Reprints-No-4-Cork-Workers-Club-1974.pdf

 No.5    The James Connolly Songbook (1972)

No. 6   Workshop Talks  by  James Connolly                              

No.7   The Irish Question (1894)  by  John Leslie

http://michaelharrison.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/The-Irish-Question-John-Leslie-Cork-Workers-Club-1974.pdf                           

No.8 The Historical Basis of Socialism in Ireland  by Thomas Brady

http://michaelharrison.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/The-Irish-Question-John-Leslie-Cork-Workers-Club-1974.pdf

No.9   The Connolly-Walker Controversy on Socialist Unity in Ireland

No.10 The Story of Irish Labour  by J.M.MacDonnell

Read Here cwc 10 

No.11 Ireland Upon The Dissecting Table – James Connolly on Ulster &             Partition.

No.12 Convict No. 50945: Jim Larkin, Irish Labour Leader

No.13 Irish Labour and its International Relations in the era of the 2nd             International and the Bolshevik Revolution.

No.14 Freedom’s Road for Irish Workers (1917)

No.15 The Connolly-DeLeon Controversy:On Wages, Marriage and the Church (1904)http://www.marxists.org/archive/connolly/1904/condel/index.htm

No.16   The Irish Crisis, 1921 – The C.P.G.B. stand by William Paul

Read Here cwc 16

No.17  The Struggle of the Unemployed in Belfast October 1932

http://michaelharrison.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/The-Struggle-of-the-Unemployed-in-Belfast-October-1932-by-Tom-Bell.pdf

No.18   The Irish Free State and British Imperialism  by “Gerhard”

Read Here cwc 18

 No.19   Sinn Fein and Socialism: James Connolly, “Charles Russell”,  Selma Sigerson

No.20   The Irish Case for Communism: Sean Murray, Jim Larkin Jun., Seamus MacKee & the C.P.I.

 

 

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History in instalments: The Irish Revolutionary Tradition (Part 1 )

While visiting relatives in west Cork appreciative comments on the illustrated copy of the 1916 Proclamation hanging on the wall led to an afternoon of stories and recollections . I had found my republican relatives: Michael Collins may have stayed his last night at a cousin’s hotel, but here were the part of the family that sided and fought with the anti-treaty forces. That personal connection to the fight for Irish freedom came long after my own republican sympathies were expressed campaigning on the streets of London, but that family continuity was pleasing, and although never known, I could share their pride in that history.

Any reading of the Irish struggle generally present it as alternating between radical and constitutional republicanism each building upon the legacy of the previous failure to secure a united Ireland. Between the waning and waxing of these periods there is a connecting thread of ideas and people, even organisations which contribute to re-ignite a dormant struggle. The preservation of these connections will often be found in print, with history in instalments in the format of a small circulation pamphlets. More often than not, the arguments of yesteryear are echoed in the positions taken by contemporary activists, take one example relevant to the Irish struggle, most of the British ‘left’ still consider the national struggle to be a diversion to the class struggle. There are some at variance   with that position that draws upon a past recorded radical tradition. James Connolly pointed out a century ago that it would not be enough to win formal independence – that without taking the banks and industry into social ownership Ireland would remain dominated by imperialism through its economic power which in the end, means political power. With the movements of the oppressed for their national self-assertion, the national struggle is, therefore, not only the first stage in the revolution, it is the necessary springboard to socialist transformation and development of society.

Any exploration of the revolutionary tradition in Ireland would appreciate the sterling work of Einde O’Callaghan (Administrator, James Connolly Internet Archive) who provides a  selection of Connolly’s writings, although there are alternative websites providing access to some of the writings of James Connolly , some organisational related , others individual labour as with this selection of the best known writings of the leader of the Irish Citizen Army executed in the aftermath of the Easter Rising of 1916

There are various interpretations within the broad sweep of radical positions that looks to assess the legacy of past struggles and there are many landmarks in Ireland’s complex and enduring struggle. Out there there are a vast selection of material that seeks to maintain that revolutionary legacy. Here are links to three random instalments from this diverse history:

  1. An overview on Ireland’s revolutionary tradition Read Here Ireland RT   , and Michael Harrison’s ‘Left side of the Road’ website has made available a number of pamphlets with a radical perspective on Irish history.
  2. The landmark republican rising of 1798,    Read Here 1798
  3. and The Limerick Soviet of 1919                  Read Here Limerick

 

History on the Left

woodsmokeInformation overload is a curse. The inability to match one’s interests with the overwhelming amount of material that can be accessed from a keyboard is both frustrating and adds to the backlog of material to read even on a minority interest like the left in Britain. Previously the grey literature of bibliophiles was the print medium, found in obscure, often agitational pamphlets and publications, with the internet it has exploded beyond reasonable levels.

History sources on the Left are varied and many but still small radical presses and distributors are found via their web pages and more easily accessed. Individual local initiatives still exist like the Workers Educational Associations talks and course that may provide a print record. More commonly there are the limited distribution of self-published material of little known episodes in the class war that reflect an activist’s dedication. These can refer to quite localised events.

And obviously there are the archive builders. These often find expression with a dedication to provide a legacy of previous labour as in the provision of the work online of the Communist Historian Group and its publication “Our History”. There is a selection online of the 83 studies produced over 20 years of its operation. http://banmarchive.org.uk/collections/shs/index_frameset1.htm

Now superseded by the Socialist History group http://www.socialisthistorysociety.co.uk/.

The digital medium makes somethings possible that would be very difficult in the physical world such as the international co-operation and co-ordination for such political depositories as Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line that allows access to material that is scattered, rare and uncatalogued. There is no equivalent resource as it allows access and has more holdings than even a National library collection of record. https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/erol.htm

There are the products of stakhanovite activism, the perspective of those political groups and individuals, always an interesting exploration from the anarchist perspective, is the libcom library which contains nearly 20,000 articles of international history from the other side of the barricades. https://libcom.org/library . Many leftist sites are worth exploring for accounts [undoubtedly partisan] of Leftist history.

Other examples of contemporary online promotion of the local radical history revival are these two sites

  1. past tense promotion of London’s radical history https://pasttenseblog.wordpress.com/ and
  2. Bristol Radical History Group http://www.brh.org.uk/site/pamphleteerRecount episodes forgotten, uncelebrated and still worthy of acknowledgment.

Listing the obscure, out-of-print and difficult to now obtain pamphlets to add to the awareness of this history would not be much assistance, so instead more accessible material from a home Library listing of “Books on the History of the English Left” that can be found in the diminishing libraries of Britain, and from online booksellers like http://www.leftontheshelfbooks.co.uk/ , or try http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/ethicalreports/buyingbookswithoutamazon/radicalbookshopsdirectory.aspx


GENERAL BACKGROUND

Beer, M (1940 ) A History of British Socialism. George Allen & Unwin

Blatchford ,Robert (1893/ 1977) Merrie England. The Journeyman Press

Cole, G.D.H & Postgate, Raymond (1938) The Common People 1746-1938.Methuen

Cornforth ,Maurice ed.(1978) Rebels and their Causes: essays in honour of A.L.Morton. Lawrence & Wishart

Gerhold, Gerhold (2007) The Putney Debates 1647.Self-published

Harrison, Stanley (1974) Poor Man’s Guardian: a survey of the Struggles for a Democratic Press,1786-1973. Lawrence & Wishart

Hampton, Christopher (1984)A Radical Reader: the struggle for change in England,1381-1914. Penguin

Horspool, David (2009) The English Rebel: one thousand years of troublemaking, from the to the Nineties. Penguin Books

Jones, Colin (1983) Britain and Revolutionary France: conflict, subversion and propaganda. University of Exeter

MacCoby, S (1957) The English Radical Tradition 1763-1914.New York University Press

Manning, Brian (2003) Revolution and Counter-Revolution in England, Ireland and Scotland. Bookmarks

Samuel, Raphael & Jones, Gareth Stedman (1982) Culture, Ideology and Politics. Routledge & Keegan Paul

Royle, Edward (2000) Revolutionary Britannia? Reflections on the threat of revolution in Britain, 1789-1848. Manchester University Press

Thompson E.P. (1984) The Making of the English Working Class. Penguin

Walzer, Michael (1966) The Revolution of the Saints: A study in the origins of radical politics. Weidenfield and Nicolson

Wells, Roger (1986) Insurrection: the British Experience 1795-1803. Alan Sutton


 

19th CENTURY LIVES OF LABOUR

Briggs, Asa (1962) Chartist Studies. MacMillan

Briggs, Asa & Saville, John (1971) Essays in labour history 1886-1923.Macmillan

Charlton, John (1999) ‘It just went like tinder’: The mass movement & New Unionism in Britain. Red Words

Cherry, Steven (1981) Our History– a pocket history of the Labour Movement. Self-published

Coleman, Stephen ed. (1996) Reform and Revolution: three early socialists on the way ahead. Thoemmes Press

Fox, Ralph (nd) The Class Struggle in Britain in the epoch of imperialism 1880-1923 (two volumes) Martin Lawrence

Hobsbawm E.J. (1965) Labouring Men: studies in the history of labour. Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Kynaston, David (1976) King Labour: The British Working Class 1850-1914. George Allen & Unwin

Lane, Tony (1974) The Union Makes Us Strong: The British working class, its politics and trade unionism. Arrow

Marcus, Steve (1985) Engels, Manchester and the working class .Norton

Morris, Williams (1979) Political Writings. Lawrence & Wishart

Morton, A.L. & Tate,George (1973 I 1956) The British Labour Movement 1770- 1920. Lawrence & Wishart

Murphy, J.T. (1934/1972) Preparing for Power: a critical study of the history of the British working class movement. Pluto Press

O’Brien, Mark (2009) Perish the Privileged orders: a socialist history of the Chartist Movement. New Clarion Press

Pelling, Henry (1977) A History of British Trade Unionism. Penguin

Rosenberg, David (2015) Rebel Footprints: a guide to uncovering London’s radical history. Pluto Press

Samuel, Raphael (1982) Village Life and Labour. Routledge

Stearns, Peter (1975) Lives of Labour: work in a maturing Industrial Society. Croom Helm

Torr, Dona (1956) Tom Mann and his Times Vol One: 1856-1890.Lawrence & Wishart


 

THE BRITISH LABOUR PARTY

Bealey, F & Pelling, H. (1958) Labour and Politics 1900-1906: a history of the Labour Representation Committee. MacMillan

Burgess, Keith (1980) The Challenge of Labour: shaping British society 1850-1930. Croom Helm

Cliff, Tony & Gluckstein, Donny (1988) The Labour Party – a Marxist History. Bookmarks

Clough, Robert (1992) Labour, a party fit for imperialism. Larkin Publications [RCG]

Howell, David (1980) British Social Democracy, a study in development and decay. Croom Helm

Lyman, Richard (nd) The First Labour Government 1924. Chapman & Hall

Miliband, Ralph (1979) Parliamentary Socialism: a study in the politics of Labour. Merlin Press

Ramsay, Robin (2002) The Rise of New Labour. Pocket Essentials


 

EARLY 20TH CENTURY

Challinor, Raymond (1977) The Origins of British Bolshevism. Croom Helm

Duncan, Rolbert & Mcivor, Arthur (1992) Militant Workers: labour and Class Conflict 1900-1950. Essays in honour of Harry McShane (1891-1988). John Donald

Kendall, Walter (1971) The Revolutionary Movement in Britain 1900-21: the origins of British Communism. Weidenfeld and Nicolson

Northedge F.S. & Wells, Audrey (1982) Britain and Soviet Communism, the impact of a revolution. Macmillan

Paul, William (nd) The State: its origins and function. Socialist Labour Press

Rosenberg, Chanie (1987) Britain on the brink of revolution 1919. Bookmarks

Skelly, Jeffrey (1976) The General Strike 1926. Lawrence & Wishart

Thrope, Andrew (1989) The Failure of Political Extremism in inter-war Britain. University of Exeter

Weller, Ken (1985) ‘Don’t Be A Soldier!’ The radical anti-war movement in North London 1914-1918 . Journeyman

Werskey, Gary (1988) The Visible College: a collective biography of British scientists and socialists of the 1930s. Free Association Books


 

COMMUNIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN

Adereth, Max (1994) Line of March: an historical and critical analysis of British Communism and its revolutionary strategy. Praxis Press

Attfield, John & Williams, Stephen (1984) 1939:The Communist Party and War. Proceedings of a conference held on 21April1979 organised by the Communist Party History Group. Lawrence & Wishart

Beckett,Francis (1995) Enemy Within: the rise and fall of the British Communist Party. John Murray

Beckett,Francis (2004) Stalin’s British Victims. Sutton Publishing

Bell, Tom (1937) British Communist Party, a short history. Lawrence & Wishart

Black, Robert (1970) Stalinism in Britain, a Trotskyist analysis. New Park Publication

Bronstein, Sam & Richardson, AI (nd) Two Steps Back: Communists & the wider labour movement 1934-1945. A study in the relations between vanguard and class. Socialist Platform

Clegg, Arthur (1989) Aid China 1937-1949.A memoir of a forgotten campaign. New World Presss

Cohen, Phil (1997) Children of the Revolution: communist childhood in Cold War Britain. Lawrence & Wishart

Croft, Andy (1998) A Weapon in the Struggle: the cultural history of the Communist Party in Britain. Pluto Press

Croft, Andy ed. (2012) After The Party: reflections on life since the CPGB. Lawrence & Wishart

Dewar, Hugo (1976) Communist Politics in Britain: The CPGB from its origins to the Second World War. Pluto Press

Drake, Bob (1952) The Communist Technique in Britain. Penguin Press

Green, John (2014)  Britain’s Communists: The Untold Story. Artery Publications

Gollan, John (1978) Reformism and Revolution. Communist Party

Hannington, Wal (1979 I 1936) Unemployed Struggles 1919-1936: My life and struggles amongst the Unemployed. Lawrence & Wishart

Hinton, James & Hyman, Richard (1975) Trade Unions and Revolution: the industrial politics of the early British communist Party. Pluto Press

Hyde, Douglas (1952) I Believed: the autobiography of a former British communist. The Reprint Society

Macintyre, Stuart (1980) A Proletarian Science: Marxism in Britain 1917-1933.  Lawrence & Wishart

Macleod, Alison (1997) The Death of Uncle Joe. Merlin Press

Mcilroy, Morgan & Campbell (2001) Party People, Communist Lives; explorations in biography. Lawrence & Wishart

Mitchell, Alex (1984) Behind the Crisis in British Stalinism. New Park Publication

Morgan, Kevin, Cohen, Gideon and Flinn, Andrew (2007) Communists and British Society 1920-1991 .River Cram Press

Murray, Andrew (1995) The CPGB , a historical analysis to 1941. Communist Liaison

Parker, Lawrence (2008) The kick inside: revolutionary opposition in the CPGB 1960-1991. Self-published. Second edition published by November Publications, 2012.

Pearce, Brian & Woodhouse, Michael (1975) Essays on the History of Communism in Britain. New Park Publications

Pelling, Henry (1958) The British Communist Party, a historical profile. Adam & Charles Black

Piratin, Phil (1980/ 1948) Our Flag Stays Red. Lawrence & Wishart

Rust, William (1949) The Story of the Daily Worker. People’s Press

Samuel, Raphel (2006) The Lost World of British Communism. Verso

Thompson, Willie (1992) The Good Old Cause: British Communism 1920-1991.Pluto Press

Trory, Erine (1974) Between the Wars: recollections of a communist organiser. Crabtree Press

Zinkin, Peter (1985) A Man To Be Watched Carefully. People’s Publication

 

HISTORY of the Communist Party of Great Britain

Published by Lawrence & Wishart

  1. Formation and early years 1919-1924 (Klugmann)
  2. The General strike 1925-1926                (Klugmann)
  3. HISTORY of the Communist Party of Great Britain 1927-1941 (Branson)
  4. HISTORY of the Communist Party of Great Britain 1941-1951 (Branson)
  5. Cold Wars, Crisis and Conflict: the CPGB 1951-1968                  (Callaghan)
  6. Endgames and New Times: the final years of British Communism 1964- 1991 (Andrews)

 

THE SIXTIES

Alleyne, Brian (2002) Radicals Against Race; Black activism and cultural politics. Berg

Callaghan, John (1987) The Far Left in British Politics. Blackwell

Caute, David (1988) Sixty-Eight, the year of the barricades. Hamish Hamilton

Chun, Lin (1993) The British New Left. Edinburgh University press

Clutterbuck, Richard (1980) Britain in Agony, the growth of political violence. Penguin

Heinemann, Benjamin J. (1972) The Politics of Powerless: a study of the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination. Institute of Race Relations. Oxford University Press

Shipley, Peter (1976) Revolutionaries in Modern Britain. The Bodley Head

Smith, Evan & ‎ Worley, Matthew (2017)   Against the Grain: The British Far Left from 1956. Manchester University Press

Tariq Ali (1972) The Coming British Revolution. Jonathan cape

Thayer, George (1965) The British Political Fringe, a profile. Anthony Blond

Tomlinson, John ( 1981) Left, Right : the march of political extremism in Britain. John Cape

Widgery, David (1976) The Left in Britain 1956-1968. Penguin


 

MAOISM

Ash,William (1978) A Red Square: the autobiography of an unconventional revolutionary. Howard Baker

Beil, Robert (1985/2015) Eurocentrism and the Communist Movement Kersplebedeb Publishing Montreal.

McCreery (n.d.) The Way Forward: a Marxist-Leninist of the British state, the CPGB and revolutionaries. WPPE

Podmore, Will ( 2004) Reg Birch: engineer, trade unionist, communist. Bellman books

Sherwood, Marika (1999) Claudia Jones, a life in exile. Lawrence & Wishart

 


 

TROTSKYISM

Bronstein, Sam & Richardson, Al (1986) War and the International: a history of the Trotskyist movement in Britain 1937-1949. Socialist Platform

Cliff, Tony (2000) A World To Win: life of a revolutionary. Bookmarks

Crick, Michael (1986) The March of Militant. Faber

Downing, G. (1991) WRP Explosion. The Socialist Fight Group

Essays on Revolutionary Marxism in Britain and Ireland from the 1930s to the 1960s. Revolutionary History Vol.6 No.2/3 Summer 1996

Grant, Ted (2002) History of British Trotskyism. Wellred Publications

Grant, Ted (1989) The Unbroken Thread: the development of Trotskyism over 40 years. Fortress Press

Groves, Reg (1974) The Balham Group: how British Trotskyism Began. Pluto Press

Higgins, Jim (1997) More Years for the Locust ; the origins of the SWP. IS group

Ratner, Harry (1994) Reluctant Revolutionary: memoirs of a Trotskyist 1936-1960. Socialist Platform

Taafe, Peter (1995) The Rise of Miltant : Militant’s 30 years. Militant Publications

The Fourth International, Stalinism and the origins of the International Socialists: some documents (1971) Pluto Press


 

MEMOIRS

Bone, Ian (2006) Bash The Rich; true-life confessions of an anarchist in the UK. Tangent Books

Cohen, Nick (2007) What’s Left: how Liberals lost their way. Fourth Estate

Kilfoye, Peter (2000) Left behind: Lessons from Labour’s heartland. Politico

Mitchell, Alex (2012) Come the Revolution: A Memoir. UNSW Press

Saville, John (2003) Memoirs From The Left. Merlin Press

Steel, Mark (2001) Reasons To Be Cheerful: from Punk to New labour through the eyes of a dedicated Trouble Maker. Scribner

Stuart, Christie (2005) Granny Made Me An Anarchist. Scribner


50. John MacLean

Maclean

John Maclean, Scottish Marxist, one of the leaders of the ‘Red Clydeside’ era died on 30 November 1923 in Glasgow at the age of 44 .His funeral was attended by thousands of his fellow Glaswegians and at the time, was the biggest funeral ever seen in the city. Even today John Maclean is remembered by a Commemoration in November with a march and graveside oration at Eastwood Cemetery.

Maclean’s daughter, Nan Milton, provided a biography on her father and her selected works of Maclean, In the Rapids of Revolution was the first published collection of essays, articles, pamphlets and letters by the revolutionary organiser and educator of Clydeside. The indispensable Marxist Internet Archive have his articles from Justice and Forward, available online https://www.marxists.org/archive/maclean/index.htm

January 2018 saw the publication of Gerard Cairns new book on John MacLean titled: ‘The Red and the Green – a Portrait of John Maclean. The former Secretary of the John Maclean Society has a chapter in the book that highlights Maclean’s links with Irish revolutionaries on Clydeside, and the practical assistance hejohnmacleanbook on saale at Lighthouse, Edinburgh's radical bookshop. gave to the cause of Irish freedom. The author of “The Irish Tragedy: Scotland’s Disgrace”, is known better on the Left than in wider society. There has been a gradual increase in the literature that focuses on John Maclean and his political life but he remains still a controversial icon, partly because of his advocacy of a Scottish Workers Republic and rejection of the then newly formed Communist Party of Great Britain, an issue explored in John MacLean and the CPGB by Bob Pitt, on the Trotskyist left, who political disagreements with Maclean’s conclusions are open and reflective of the British Left’s attitude http://www.whatnextjournal.org.uk/Pages/Pamph/Maclean.html

That Maclean is published by others who politically oppose him, like the SWP’s 1998 study by Dave Berry, reflects the problem of how to incorporate an obvious revolutionary internationalist who stands for Scottish Republicanism in an essentially unionist Left. There was renewed interest in the importance of Maclean in the context of the debate about Scottish independence that saw the image of MacLean as a meme! While others equally ideologically hostile strangely try to claim him as their own [see Terry Brotherstone’s introduction to the WRP’s  Accuser of Capitalism published in 1986.]

Accuser 1918 cover

Then [as today] radical socialists operate on a British stage to an agenda set largely in response to the British state centred on London. The perspective offered by Maclean did not gel with that metropolitan-influenced analysis. As Graham Bain states Historians on the whole have been unkind about John MacLean.” Drawing upon his own mythologies, MacLean argued for an anti-war class patriotism, to refuse to fight each other over the interests of Europe’s capitalist classes. The call to break up the British state through Scottish Independence was “All Hail the Scottish Workers Republic” and not the patrician bourgeois call of ‘Scotland Free’.

All hail MayDay 1923

“Scotland must again have independence, but not to be ruled over by traitor chiefs and politicians. The communism of the clans must be re-established on a modern basis. (Bolshevism, to put it roughly, is but the modern expression of the communism of the mir.) Scotland must therefore work itself into a communism embracing the whole country as a unit. The country must have but one clan, as it were – a united people working in co-operation and co-operatively, using the wealth that is created.”

There are a minority of activists who will regard John Maclean as a legacy for today. His dedication and determination alone means he should not slumber in some ill-deserved obscurity. His expression and contemporary analysis maybe dated, his Marxist optimism and appeal to the working class endure:

1918 in the dock

MacLean turning to friends in the court shouted, "Keep it going, boys; keep it going".

Gerard Cairns (2018) ‘The Red and the Green – a Portrait of John Maclean. Connolly Books £6.99

Mail order: http://www.calton-books.co.uk/books/the-red-and-the-green-a-portrait-of-john-maclean/


Of Interest

Accuser of Capitalism. John MacLean’s speech from the dock, May 9th 1918. New Park Publications 1986

Bain, Graham (nd) John MacLean, His Life and Work 1919-1923. John MacLean Society

McHugh J. and Ripley, B.J.,   John Maclean, the Scottish Workers’ Republican Party and Scottish Nationalism Scottish Labour History Society Journal, No.18, 1983.

MacLean, John (1973) The War After The War Socialist Reproduction.

MacLean’s pamphlet ‘The War After the War’ has been republished by the Bristol Radical History Group.

Milton, Nan (ed) (1978) In the Rapids of Revolution. Allison & Busby

Milton, Nan (1979) John Maclean. Pluto Press

Sherry, Dave (1998) John Maclean. Socialist Workers Party

John Maclean – “The Most dangerous man in Britain” –   http://democracyandclasstruggle.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/john-maclean-most-dangerous-man-in.html   [July 1, 2014]

Sean Ledwith, The Scottish Lenin: the life and legacy of John Maclean http://www.counterfire.org/revolutionary/17009-the-scottish-lenin-the-life-and-legacy-of-john-maclean [February 21, 2014]

John Maclean’s Pollokshaws http://www.glasgowwestend.co.uk/people/johnmaclean.php


Legacy ayecomrade

49. fighter for freedom

Last year saw the publication of a rather expensive academic book, Youth Activism and Solidarity: the Non-Stop Picket against Apartheid.  The supporters of the City of London Anti-Apartheid Group [City Group] had maintained a Non-Stop Picket outside the South African Embassy in Trafalgar Square calling for the release of Nelson Mandela. City AA drew upon a wider geographical support that those who resided in the City, although affiliated as a local group of the Anti-Apartheid Movement, City AA, as it became known, had been founded by Norma Kitson in April 1982. The accompanying blog https://nonstopagainstapartheid.wordpress.com/  provides a commentary on the personalities and struggles around the campaign that was strongly influenced by the Revolutionary Communist Group (formed in 1974, having been part of the “Revolutionary Opposition” faction of the International Socialists (IS), (forerunners of the Socialist Workers Party).

In February 1985 City Group was de-recognised as a local branch of the national Anti-Apartheid Movement. The prolonged picket outside the South African Embassy in Trafalgar Square, a protest not supported by the AAM.

In justifying City Group’s expulsion, the AAM’s executive committee circulated a report quoting a letter from the then Chief Representative of the ANC in London, Solly Smith, which stated:

we are aware of the activities of these people and if they are not brought to a stop a lot of damage will be done in the field of solidarity work in this country. (The Anti-Apartheid Movement and City AA: a statement by the AAM executive committee, 1 December 1985).

In 1993, the ANC revealed that Solly Smith had confessed, prior to his death, that he had been a spy for South African Military Intelligence inside the London ANC.

RCG produced a pamphlet South Africa – Britain out of Apartheid; Apartheid out of Britain that gives some details of the City AA activism at the time. http://www.revolutionarycommunist.org/images/pdf/rcg_south_africa_pamphlet_lq.pdf

Personally pleasingly was that sharing the book’s dedication was Zolile Hamilton Keke, the Chief Representative in the UK of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) in the mid-1980s.  In London he was a hard-working representative in a very difficult and hostile terrain where the British Anti-Apartheid Movement was a sworn enemy of the PAC. Those were hard and financially precarious years in exile, but he would  travel throughout London to speak at meetings on the freedom struggle. When City Group launched its Non-Stop Picket of the South African embassy, in April 1986, Keke was there at the rally to speak on behalf of the PAC.

He was a militant of Poqo (pure/ alone) the armed wing of the PAC,  Prisoner 325/64 on Robben Island , subject to a banning order on release in 1973 when he began recruiting youths to join the PAC in exile. A defiant Keke was a defendant in the secret Bethal treason trial after the Soweto Uprising by school students in 1976. In 1981 Keke went into exile as representative for the Pan Africanist Congress. In Britain the Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM) in practice only support the African National Congress, freezing out the representatives of the PAC and the black consciousness movement AZAPO, In 1992 he returned to South Africa with his family and he never gave up the fight for the liberation of his homeland.

As the authors state, “Zolile Keke helped educate a generation of British solidarity activists that it was not enough  to achieve a ‘democratic South Africa’, Azania had to be fully decolonized.”

A tribute to Zolile Hamilton Keke [October 31 1945 – February 6 2013] by fellow fighter for freedom, Motsoko Pheko, who worked with him in London exile can be found at   http://www.pambazuka.org/resources/zolile-hamilton-keke-tribute.

48. Looking at Yugoslavia (2)


quote-i-am-the-leader-of-one-country-which-has-two-alphabets-three-languages-four-religions-josip-broz-tito-75-55-69         yugoslavia

These links involves the question of how to appraise the Tito clique: whether as a fraternal Party and a force against imperialism or a renegade from the international communist movement and a lackey of imperialism. Was Stalin wrong in condemning Tito’s policies, not accepting ‘Titoism’ as a specifically Yugoslav form of Marxism-Leninism? The Chinese were praising Mao for his application of Marxism to China, and a couple of years later the British Road had the endorsement of the Soviet Communist Party, and from Stalin himself. However the judgement was that Tito followed a bourgeois-nationalist line and ultimately fell into the American imperialist camp despite protestation of neutrality and non-alignment from Belgrade.

The expulsion of Yugoslavia from the Cominform resulted in a massive  purge within the ruling party that was reflected in the overwhelming number of arrests: between 100,000 and 200,000. Most of these were tortured and killed as “Stalinists.”

Stalin’s failure to overpower Tito’s leadership had vast significance for Soviet ideological and political hegemony in both the bloc and the international movement: here was an alternative communism. After its expulsion, Yugoslavia continued to chart a self-declared communist, but distinctly independent, pathway in its domestic and foreign policies. The United States was delighted with the Soviet-Yugoslavia split, and actively courted Tito with economic and military aid in the late-1940s and 1950s. As Stalin had already discovered, however, Tito refused to be the puppet of any government.


https://www.marxists.org/subject/yugoslavia/

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Where is the Nationalism of Tito’s Group in Yugoslavia Leading To

J.V. Stalin

This article was first published in the Soviet Union in December 1948 in the name of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b). The identity of the author became known only after the dissolution of the USSR and the opening up of the CPSU archives. The examination of the documents and materials relating to the publication of the ‘Works’ of Stalin revealed that the article was planned to be published as part of volume 15. The article had been preceded by the correspondence of Molotov and Stalin to Tito and Kardelj between March and May 1948 detailing the political and economic errors of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and which culminated in the resolution of the Cominform of June, 1948.1 The immediate background to this article were the reports presented at the 5th Congress of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia which indicated that Tito and his associates planned to continue to pursue their anti-socialist and anti-Soviet course.2 These negative developments were confirmed in the following months and were recorded in the resolutions and reports of the Cominform meeting which was held in Hungary in November, 1949.3 Today when the full consequences of the path of Tito are clear the struggle of Molotov, Stalin, the CPSU(b) and Cominform stands as a monument to their commitment to preserve Bolshevik principles in the face of the onslaught of modern revisionism.

References

1. The Correspondence between the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks), London, 1948.

2. Josip Broz Tito, ‘Political Report of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia.’ Report Delivered at the V Congress of the CPY, Belgrade, 1948; Edvard Kardelj, ‘The Communist Party of Yugoslavia in the Struggle for New Yugoslavia for People’s Authority and for Socialism. Report Delivered at the V Congress of the CPY, Belgrade, 1948; Boris Kidric, ‘On the Construction of Socialist Economy in the FPRY’, Speech Delivered at the V Congress of the CPY, Belgrade, 1948.

3. ‘The Struggle for Peace, National Independence, Working Class Unity’, CPI, Bombay, 1950. Particularly important is the resolution, ‘Communist Party of Yugoslavia in the Power of Murderers and Spies,’ pp. 54-58. See also: ed. G. Procacci, ‘The Cominform, Minutes of the Three Conferences 1947/1948/1949’, Feltrinelli Editore, Milan, 1994.

Vijay Singh


In the well-known resolution of the Information Bureau of the Communist Parties adopted in June 1948 ‘On the Situation in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia’ it is pointed out that in recent months the nationalist elements that covertly existed even earlier have come to dominate the leadership of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, that the leadership of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia has broken away from the internationalist traditions of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and has taken up the course of nationalism. 

All the Communist Parties, the entire camp of Peoples’ Democracy and Socialism unanimously accepts the Resolution of the Information Bureau ‘On the Situation in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia’. All the Communist Parties of the world recognize that the present Yugoslavian leadership i.e. Tito’s group, by pursuing a nationalist policy, is playing into the hands of the imperialists, isolating Yugoslavia and weakening it. 

Has Tito’s group learnt any appropriate lessons from these facts? 

Has Tito’s group understood that a nationalist policy means losing Yugoslavia’s most loyal allies represented by the Communist Parties of the world and that it has already led to the isolation of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia, and weakening of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia both within and outside the country? 

Has Tito’s group understood that the only way out of the difficult situation into which it has lead the party and the country is to recognize its mistake, break with the policy of nationalism and return to the fraternity of the Communist Parties? 

No, Tito’s group has not learnt any lessons and it does not appear that it understands these simple and unmistakable facts. 

On the contrary, to all justified and comradely criticism of Tito’s group by the fraternal communist parties and the entire camp of Peoples’ Democracy and Socialism, Tito’s group is responding in the pages of Belgrade’s press with the foul language of the street, by igniting nationalist hatred towards the people of neighbouring democratic countries, widespread repressions, arrests and murders of communists and non-communists who dare to express doubts regarding the policy of nationalism pursued by Tito’s group. Very recently, Colonel-General Arso Iovanovich, a hero of the liberation struggle of Yugoslavia was murdered by the agents of Tito’s assistant, the infamous Rankovic. He was killed because he expressed doubts about the policy of nationalism and terrorism of Tito’s group. In this connection it is openly said in Yugoslavia that ‘Tito’s group has degenerated into a clan of political murderers.’ 

Evidently, Tito’s group has no intentions of recognizing and rectifying its mistakes. It is afraid and does not have the courage to recognize the mistakes because to recognize and rectify ones mistakes would need courage. Even worse, out of ‘fear’ it is arresting and subjecting to repression anyone who dares to remind it of its mistakes.

Lenin says: ‘How a party relates to its mistakes is the most important and convincing criteria of a party’s significance and its capacity to fulfill in deed its obligations towards its class and the working masses. Ability to recognize one’s mistakes openly, reveal its causes, analyse the conditions leading to it and conscientiously discuss the means of rectifying it is the sign of a determined party, of fulfilling one’s obligation and educating and teaching the class and, following it, the masses.’

Evidently Tito’s group just cannot be put in the rank of such courageous, honest and devoted party leaders that Lenin speaks of.

The most important point in the evolution of nationalism of Tito’s group occurred in the spring of 1948 just before the summoning of the Information Bureau. The unconcealed policy of nationalism of Tito’s group began with its refusal to participate in the Meeting of the Information Bureau of the Communist Parties and discuss the situation in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia with the fraternal Communist Parties. Notwithstanding numerous requests to send a delegation of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia to and explain its position in the Meeting, following the example set by other Communist Parties in earlier meetings, Tito’s group blatantly refused to participate in the working of the Meeting. It became evident that Tito’s group attaches no importance to the friendship with other communist parties, including the Communist Party of the USSR. This constituted an open split with the international united front of the Communist Parties. It was breaking away from the position of internationalism and a shift to the rails of nationalism.

The newspaper ‘Borba’ printed from Belgrade asserts that Tito and his accomplices support the united anti-imperialist front. This, certainly, is a sham, designed to deceive ‘simple people’. In reality, which anti-imperialist positions can we talk about when this group cannot stay together in a family even with the Communist Parties of the countries close to Yugoslavia. 

The second major fact indicating the falling of Tito’s group into the sin of nationalism is the improper, hypocritical and anti-Leninist conduct at the V Congress of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. Some naïve people expected the Congress would work under the banner of friendship with the Communist Parties, under the flag of strengthening of the anti–imperialist front of the countries of People’s Democracy and the USSR. In reality, however, everything happened to the contrary. In reality, Tito’s group converted the Congress into an arena of tussle against the Communist Parties of the neighbouring countries, into an arena of a tussle against the united anti-imperialist front of the countries of Peoples’ Democracy. This Congress was a campaign against the countries of People’s Democracy and their Communist Parties, against the USSR and its Communist Party. 

Of course in Yugoslavia it is not totally safe to speak openly about the campaign against the USSR and the countries of People’s Democracy as the people of Yugoslavia fully support unity with the countries of People’s Democracy and the USSR. Therefore, Tito’s group has taken to deceit and has decided to disguise this reactionary campaign behind pompous words of praise for the USSR, friendship with the USSR, the enormous role of the USSR in the national liberation movement etc. Things reached a stage that Tito’s accomplices advised Stalin to join up in this deceitful campaign and to take on himself to defend Tito’s nationalist group from criticism by the Communist Parties of the USSR and other democratic countries. The Belgrade press let loose all possible tricks and intrigues, tried out the most unexpected and ludicrous twists and turns in order to prove to the peoples of Yugoslavia that black is white and white is black, that the campaign of Tito’s group against Socialism and Democracy is of secondary importance and that ‘alliance’ with the USSR and a ‘united front’ with it is the main concern of Tito’s group. In reality it turns out that Tito’s group in this period has placed itself in a common camp with the imperialists by rubbishing the Communist Parties of countries of Peoples’ Democracy and the USSR to the satisfaction of the imperialists of the whole world. Instead of a united front with the Communist Parties we have a united front with the imperialists. The V Congress of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia has approved and strengthened the nationalist policy of Tito’s group. 

The political acrobats from the newspaper ‘Borba’ demand that the Communist Parties stop exposing the mistakes of the group and that they extend support and confidence to this group as, otherwise, such a campaign can seriously harm Yugoslavia. 

No gentlemen, the Communist Parties cannot trust or extend support to the nationalist policy of Tito’s group. It is possible that such a situation can hurt Yugoslavia. It is not the Communist Parties that need to be held responsible for it, but Tito’s nationalist group which has broken away from the Communist Parties and that has declared war on them.

The political acrobats from the newspaper ‘Borba’ must be clear in their minds that Marxism and nationalism are incompatible, that nationalism as a bourgeois ideology is antagonistic to Marxism. It must be clear to them that Marxism cannot reconcile with nationalism or nationalist leanings in the Communist Parties and that they must eliminate nationalism in whatever form it covers itself in the name and interests of the workers, in the name of peoples’ freedom and friendship and in the name of the triumphant construction of socialism.

Lenin says: ‘Bourgeois nationalism and proletarian internationalism are two ceaselessly incompatible slogans that correspond to the camps of the two large classes of the whole capitalist world and reflect two policies (even more so, two world perceptions)’.

In circumstances when the power of the bourgeoisie has already been put an end to, the exploiter class and its agents are trying to use the poisoned weapon of nationalism in order to reestablish the old formation.

Regarding this Stalin says: ‘Nationalist leanings are an adjustment of the internationalism of the working class to the nationalism of the bourgeoisie… nationalist leanings are a reflection of the attempts by ‘our’ nationalist bourgeoisie to restore capitalism’.

Nationalism in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia is a blow not only for the common anti-imperialist front, but above all, for Yugoslavia herself, the peoples of Yugoslavia and the interests of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia both in the field of foreign and internal affairs.

The nationalism of Tito’s group in foreign affairs leads to a break with the united front of the world revolutionary movement of the working people, to a loss of Yugoslavia’s most trusted allies and to self-isolation of Yugoslavia. Nationalism of Tito’s group works against Yugoslavia in the face of her external enemies. 

The nationalism propagated by Tito’s group in the sphere of internal politics leads to a policy of compromise between the exploited and the exploiter, to ‘uniting’ the exploited and the exploiter into a single ‘national’ front, to a policy of retreat from the class struggle, to propagating the falsehood of a possibility of constructing socialism without a class struggle, of a possibility of peaceful transformation of the exploiter under socialism i.e. to wrecking the combativeness and morale of the working people of Yugoslavia. The nationalism of Tito’s group is incapacitating the working people of Yugoslavia before their internal enemies. 

A year ago, when Tito’s group did not yet expound nationalist leanings and cooperated with the fraternal communist parties, Yugoslavia was forcefully and fearlessly marching ahead supported by its closest allies represented by the Communist Parties of other countries. This was the situation in the recent past. However, after the change of course by Tito’s group towards nationalism, the situation is altered radically. As Tito’s group broke away from the united front of the Communist Parties and became scornful towards the countries of Peoples’ Democracy it began to lose its most loyal allies and found itself isolated in the face of its external and internal enemies.

Such is the distressing outcome of the policy of nationalism pursued by Tito’s group.

Tito’s group has not understood that which is absolutely clear and obvious for any Communist. It has not understood the simple truth that in the present conditions of the international situation, the solidarity of the fraternal Communist Parties, mutual cooperation and friendship of countries of Peoples’ Democracy and cooperation and friendship with the USSR is the crucial prerequisite of growth and prosperity of the countries of Peoples’ Democracy in the construction of socialism and the main guarantee of their national freedom and independence in the face of imperialist coercion.

The political tricksters from the newspaper ‘Borba’ further assert that the criticism of the mistakes of Tito’s group has now ballooned into a campaign against the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and against its people.

This, certainly, is a falsehood. There never was and there is no campaign against the peoples of Yugoslavia. It would be criminal to conduct any campaign against the peoples of Yugoslavia whose heroism is known to everyone. It is also known that the peoples of Yugoslavia strongly support a united front with the countries of Peoples’ Democracy and the USSR. They are not at all responsible for the policy of nationalism pursued by Tito’s group. We look upon the peoples of Yugoslavia as our true allies. 

There never was and there is no campaign against the Communist Party of Yugoslavia as a whole. We know very well that the Communist Party of Yugoslavia stands determinedly for friendship with the Communist Parties of other countries, for friendship with the USSR and its Communist Party. The persistence of anti-imperialist traditions among the majority in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia is not doubted at all. We also know that the majority of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia does not approve of the policy of nationalism of Tito’s group. We know that for this particular reason it is being subjected to brutal repression by Tito’s group and his agents.

A ‘campaign’ is being conducted not against the peoples of Yugoslavia and the Communist Party of Yugoslavia as a whole, but against Tito’s nationalist group in order to help the Communist Party of Yugoslavia to figure out the mistakes of Tito’s group and reverse the nationalist policy of the Yugoslavian leadership.

The political tricksters from the newspaper ‘Borba’ assert that, after all, Tito’s group is inseparable from the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and that it represents the majority in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia.

This is also incorrect. A year ago Tito’s group, perhaps, represented the majority in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. But that was one year ago. At present, after it has broken with the Communist Parties, after having fought the neighbouring republics and after defecting to the camp of nationalism, Tito’s group does not any more represent the majority in the party. Now Tito’s group represents Tito’s faction enjoying the trust of only a minority in the party, that uses the State apparatus for the purpose of suppressing the internationalist majority in the party, that has thrown the party under the domination of the hangman Rankovic and that has established a regime of terror with its repressions, mass arrests and murders. Indeed, now Tito’s faction is in a state of war with its own party. Only the blind cannot see this. If Tito’s faction has been incapable of maintaining discipline in the party through usual democratic methods and has been forced to make use of mass repressions, then it means that it has already lost the trust of the majority of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia.

Tito’s faction represents only a minority in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia and does not enjoy the trust of the party but only of the administrative-police apparatus of Yugoslavia.

TSEKA
(Central Committee)

‘Pravda’, 8th December, 1948.

With acknowledgements to Svetlana Alekseyevna Bondareva and Tim Davenport.
Translated from the Russian by Tahir Asghar.

Revolutionary Democracy Vol. VIII, No. 2, September 2002


The Yugoslav-Soviet reconciliation :  Link Yugoslav-Soviet Split

our_socialism__tito_by_redamerican1945-db2sv3x

Twists and Turns and U-turns : Link to document

“In 1953-1954 I spoke out [against reconciliation with Tito’s] Yugoslavia at the Politburo. No one supported me, neither Malenkov nor even Kaganovich, though he was a Stalinist! Khruschev was not alone. There were hundreds and thousands like him, otherwise on his own he would not have gotten very far. He simply pandered to the state of mind of the people. But where did that lead? Even now there are lots of Khruschevs. . .”

“Tito is now [1970s at three different talks–ed.] in a difficult situation. His republic is going under, and he will have to grab onto the USSR for dear life. Then we shall be able to deal with him more firmly.”

“Nationalism is causing him to howl in pain, yet he himself is a nationalist, and that is his main defect as a communist. He is a nationalist, that is, he is infected with the bourgeois spirit. He is now cursing and criticizing his own people for nationalism. This means that the Yugoslav multinational state is breaking up along national lines. It is composed of Serbs, Croatians, Slovenes, and so forth.”

“When Tito visited us for the first time, I liked his appearance. We didn’t know everything about him at the time. . . .”

“Tito is not an imperialist, he is a petty-bourgeois, an opponent of socialism. Imperialism is something else again.”

 – Albert Resis intro. & ed., Molotov Remembers: Inside Kremlin Politics, Conversations with Felix Chuev (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1993), pp. 83-4.

president-tito-and-premier-khrushchev.jpg

Link to the 1958  Chinese publication : In Refutation of Modern Revisionism

Link to  :   Reading  – IS YUGOSLAVIA A SOCIALIST COUNTRY 1963 

maoist

Link :  https://www.marxists.org/subject/yugoslavia/maoism/index.htm

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 CWM  NC Minutes November 1978:Internal Bulletin No.5: Item 4. Yugoslavia  


 

“I met with Comrade Tito just as an old soldier. We had a cordial talk and agreed to forget the past and look to the future. This is the attitude we adopted when we resumed relations with other East European parties and countries; we take the present as a fresh starting point from which to develop friendly, cooperative relations. Of course, it’s still worthwhile to analyse events of the past. But I think the most important thing is that each party, whether it is big, small or medium, should respect the experience of the others and the choices they have made and refrain from criticizing the way the other parties and countries conduct their affairs. This should be our attitude not only towards parties in power but also towards those that are not in power. When we had talks with representatives of the Communist parties of France and Italy, we expressed this view that we should respect their experience and their choices. If they have made mistakes, it is up to them to correct them. Likewise, they should take the same attitude towards us, allowing us to make mistakes and correct them. Every country and every party has its own experience, which differs from that of the others in a thousand and one ways.”

Deng Xiaoping. Fundamental Issues in Present-Day China.  Beijing: Foreign Languages Press. 1987:186.


 

Literature Search on Soviet-Yugoslav Dispute and Socialist Yugoslavia


Banc, Ivo (1984) The National Question in Yugoslavia. Cornell University Press

Banc, Ivo (1988) With Stalin Against Tito: Cominformist Splits in Yugoslav Communism. Cornell University Press

Bogdan Denitch (1990) Limits and Possibilities: The Crisis of Yugoslav Socialism and State Socialist Systems, University of Minnesota Press.

Boris Ziherl (1949) Communism and the Fatherland. Jugoslovenska Knjiga

Dedijer, Vladimir (1953) Tito Speaks: his self-portrait and struggle with Stalin. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson

Dedijer, Vladimir (1978) The Battle Stalin lost: memoirs of Yugoslavia 1948-1953. Nottingham: Spokesman Books

Djilas, Milovan ( 1966 ed; 1957) The New Class, an analysis of the communist system. London: Unwin Books

Djilas, Milovan (1980) Wartime with Tito and the partisans. London: Martin Secker & Warburg

Hoxha, Enver (1982) The Titoities, historical notes. Tirana: The <8 Nentori> Publishing House

Immanuel Ness and Dario Azzellini (eds.) (2011) Ours to Master and to Own: Workers’ Control from the Commune to the Present, Haymarket Books.

Isyar, Levent (2005 Thesis) Containing Tito: US and Soviet policies towards Yugoslavia and the Balkans.

Kardelj, Edvard (1960) Socialism and War. A survey of the Chinese criticism of the policy of coexistence. New York: McGraw-Hill

Kardelj, Edvard (1982) Reminiscences. The struggle for recognition and independence, the new Yugoslavia 1944-1957.London: Blond & Briggs

Klugman, James (1951) From Trotsky to Tito. London: Lawrence & Wishart

Luther & Pusnik (2010) Remembering Utopia: the culture of everyday life in Socialist Yugoslavia. Washington: New Academia Press

Maclean, Fitzroy (1957) The Heretic: the life and times of Josip Broz Tito. New York: Harrap

Mehta, Coleman Armstrong (2005 Thesis) “A rat hole to watch”? CIA analyses of the Tito-Stalin Split 1948-50.

Michael Barratt Brown (2005) From Tito to Milosevic: Yugoslavia, the Lost Country,Merlin Press.

Milojko Drulovic (1978) Self-Management on Trial, Spokesman.

Niebuhur, Robert Edward (2008 Thesis) The Search for Communist Legacy – Tito’s Yugoslavia.

Patterson, Patrick Hyder (2001) Bought & sold: Living and losing the good life in Yugoslav. Cornell University Press

Programme of The League of Communists of Yugoslavia (1981; 1958) Belgrade: Socialist Thought and Practice

Rajak, Svetozar (2011) Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union in the Early Cold War Reconciliation, comradeship,confrontation, 1953–1957. London: Routledge

Rajak, Svetozar (2004 Thesis) YUGOSLAV-SOVIET RELATIONS, 1953-1957: Normalization, Comradeship, Confrontation.

Ramet, Sabrina P. (2002) Balkan Babel: the disintegration of Yugoslavia from the death of Tito to the Fall of Milosevic. Westview Press

Rubinstein, Alvin Z. (1970) Yugoslavia and the Non-Aligned World. Princeton University Press

Swain, Geoffrey (2011) TITO- A Biography. London: I.B.Tauris & Co.

Velikonja, Mitja (2008) TITOSTALGIA –A Study of Nostalgia for Josip Broz. Ljubljana: Peace Institute

Vuksic, Velimer (2003) Tito’s Partisans. Osprey Press

Wlodzimierz Brus (1975) Socialist Ownership and Political Systems, Routledge and Kegan Paul Books.

Zukin, Sharon (1975) Beyond Marx and Tito: theory and practice in Yugoslav Socialism. Cambridge University Press

ARTICLES

Chapman, B. (2014) Yugoslav-Soviet Split. In War in the Balkans: An Encyclopedic History from the Fall of the Ottoman Empire to the Breakup of Yugoslavia. Richard C. Hall (Ed.). (Volume 1, 353-354).

Chen Po-ta. Yugoslav Revisionism – product of imperialist policy. In Refutation of Modern Revisionism 1958

Coleman Mehta. (2011) The CIA Confronts the Tito-Stalin Split, 1948–1951. Journal of Cold War Studies 13:1101-145.

Danhui Li, Yafeng Xia. (2014) Jockeying for Leadership: Mao and the Sino-Soviet Split, October 1961–July 1964. Journal of Cold War Studies 16:124-60.

Dr. Gabriele Vargiu. The June 1948 Yugoslav-Soviet Crisis: The Italian and American Political Perception and its Consequences over the Trieste’s Dispute. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies. Vol.2 no.9 October 2003

Gheorghiu-Dej. Communist Party of Yugoslavia in the power of Assassins and Spies. For A Lasting Peace, for A Peoples Democracy 1950

Jakopovich, Daniel. Yugoslavia’s self-management. Unknown

Jeronim Perović, The Tito-Stalin Split: A Reassessment in Light of New Evidence

Johnson, A. Ross. The Sino-Soviet Relationship and Yugoslavia 1949-1971. Rand Corporation 1971.

Josip Broz Tito, Concerning the National Question and Social Patriotism – speech Slovene Academy of Arts and Sciences, November 26th 1948

Journal of Cold War Studies, Spring 2007, Vol. 9, No. 2 , Pages 32-63

Majstorovi, Vojin. The Rise and Fall of the Yugoslav-Soviet Alliance, 1945-1948. Past Imperfect 16 (2010)

Medvedev, I. Tito Clique in service of the Instigator of a new war. Bolshevik, No.11, June 1950

Milojevic, Louie. Building Tito-Land: America’s Cold War Fantasy , Manuscript undated.

People’s Daily, Is Yugoslavia A Socialist country? Comment on the Open letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU (III) September 23rd 1963

Perovi, Jeronim. The Tito-Stalin Split: A Reassessment in Light of New Evidence. Journal of Cold War Studies, Volume 9, Number 2, Spring 2007

PETROVIC, Vladimir. JOSIP BROZ TITO’S SUMMIT DIPLOMACY IN THE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OF SOCIALIST YUGOSLAVIA 1944–1961. ANNALES · Ser. hist. sociol. · 24 · 2014 · 4

Popivoda, Pero. Tito Clique Wipes Out Communist in Yugoslavia. For A Lasting Peace, for A Peoples Democracy No.14 July 15th 1949

R.Zambrowski, Yugoslav Trotskyites Path of Betrayal and Treachery. For A Lasting Peace, for A Peoples Democracy No.10 May 15th 1949

Rajak, Svetozar. New Evidence from the Former Yugoslav Archives. COLD WAR INTERNATIONAL HISTORY PROJECT BULLETIN, ISSUE 12/13

Reinhartz, Dennis. The Nationalism of Milovan Djilas. Modern Age Summer 1985

RESOLUTION of the Information bureau Concerning the Situation in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. For A Lasting Peace, For A Peoples Democracy No.13 July 1st 1948

Salaij, Djuro. Achievements of the Working Class in Building the New Yugoslavia. For A Lasting Peace, for A Peoples Democracy No.9 May 1st 1948

Where the Nationalism of the Tito Group in Yugoslavia is leading. For A Lasting Peace, for A Peoples Democracy No.18 September 15th 1948

Yugoslav Nationalists Ally With Greek Monarcho-Fascists. For A Lasting Peace, for A Peoples Democracy No.14 July 15th 1949


CRG5lKY


 

47. Looking at Yugoslavia (1)

frauentag_jugoslawien_3

DOCUMENTS

Soviet Union condemns the

Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia

 

1948 | 1948_The Soviet-Yugoslav Dispute_Published Correspondence

London: Royal Institute of International Affairs

1949 | Communist Party of Yugoslavia In The Power of Assassins and Spies. Resolution of the Information Bureau of Communist Parties in Hungary in the latter half of November 1949.  1949_Meeting_Information Bureau_Communist Parties_November

1950 | Medvedev, Tito clique in service of the instigator of a new war . Bombay: People’s Publishing House Text of Medvedev

1953| May 1953 Zimianin reports to Molotov on the internal and foreign policy of Yugoslavia after breaking with the USSR.    Zimianin report

Milovan Djilas, Conversations with Stalin. First published by Harcourt Brace 1962. London: Penguin [2014]

Author of The New Class [1957], Djilas was once an orthodox communist and former partisan general, expelled from the Party in 1954, his disillusion is record in this account of meeting Stalin as a representative of the Yugoslav government on three occasions.

 

Restoration of Capitalism in Yugoslavia

1949 Restoration of Capitalism in Yugoslavia Articles from For a Lasting Peace, for a People’s Democracy!

1951 |James Klugmann, From Trotsky To Tito London: Lawrence and Wishart

https://espressostalinist.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/from-trotsky-to-tito.pdf

 Exchange of Letters marking improvements in relations between the two countries and the two parties.

1954 | June 22, 1954 Letter from Khrushchev to Josip Broz Tito and the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia. Letter from Soviet leader Nikita S. Khrushchev to Yugoslav leader Josep B. Tito suggesting that the time is ripe for a rapprochement between the two states and parties. Blaming former NKVD chief Lavrenty Beria and former Yugoslav leadership member Milovan Djilas for doing the work of the imperialists by attempting to drive a wedge between the Soviet and Yugoslav people and parties, Khrushchev suggests that the ousting of both will increase rapprochement between the two countries and be the catalyst for a a summit between the two leaders.

Exchange of Letters  

06 | Reply of August 11th to Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

Yugoslav response to Soviet approaches about normalizing relations between the two countries and the two parties. While encouraged by the Soviet gestures, the Yugoslav leadership remains cautious and suggests that the rapprochement take a slow and steady course, taking into account the differences as well as the similarities between the two countries.

07 | Letter dated September 23rd   from Khrushchev to Tito and the Central Committee of the League of Communists Of Yugoslavia

Nikita Khrushchev’s letter to Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito concerning the possibility of improving relations between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. The Soviet leader suggests that rapprochement between the USSR and Yugoslavia can only be accomplished if both parties continue the exchange of views regarding mutual non-interference in the internal affairs of the other country, peaceful coexistence, equality among parties, and world peace. Khrushchev goes on to suggest that a summit between party representatives should meet in order to further rapprochement.

1956 | Khrushchev reports on his conversations with the Yugoslav leaders during his visit to Yugoslavia

Document 08

                                                                Yugoslavia’s Socialism

1950 | Workers Manage Factories in Yugoslavia. Speech by Josip Broz Tito

Tito’s Speech

1958 | Extract from Programme of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia

a) THE STRUGGLE FOR SOCIALISM UNDER NEW CONDITIONS    LCY Text

b) INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL RELATIONS AND THE FOREIGN POLICY OF SOCIALIST    YUGOSLAVIA   LCY Text 2

China’s changing attitude towards      Yugoslavia

1955 | June 30 1955 Conversation of Mao Zedong and the Yugoslav Ambassador [V.] Popovic

Conversation Text

1958 | Yugoslav MINUTES of MAO_S CONVERSATION

 

1958 |  InRefutationOfModernRevisionism

Editorials and articles on modern revisionism that appeared in the Chinese press in May and June, 1958 and the Resolution on the Moscow Meetings of Representatives of Communist and Workers’ Parties adopted by the Second Session of the Eighth National Congress.

1963 | Is Yugoslavia a socialist country

Comment on the Open letter of the Central Committee of the CPSU (III) by the Editorial Departments of Renmin Ribao (People’s Daily) and Hongqi (Red Flag) September 26, 1963

https://www.marxists.org/history/international/comintern/sino-soviet-split/cpc/yugoslavia.htm

Enver Hoxha on his neighbours

Enver Hoxha and the Great Ideological Battle of the Albanian Communists Against Revisionism

https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/italy/hoxha-battle.pdf

1964 |The Belgrade Revisionist Clique – renegades from Marxism-Leninism and Agents of Imperialism

Tirana: The <<Naim Frasheri>> State Publishing Enterprise [1964]

http://michaelharrison.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/The-Belgrade-Revisionist-Clique-Renegades-from-Marxism-Leninism-and-Agents-of-Imperialism.pdf

1978 | Enver Hoxha, Yugoslav “Self-Administration” – Capitalist Theory and Practice

(Against the anti-socialist views of E. Kardelj in the book “Directions of the Development of the Political System of Socialist Self-Administration”)

Tirana: Institute of Marxist-Leninist studies of the Central Committee of the Party of Labour of Albania [1978]

https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hoxha/works/1978/yugoslavia/index.htm

1982 | Enver Hoxha, THE TITOITES Historical Notes

Tirana: The <<Naim Frasheri>> Publishing House [1982]

http://www.bannedthought.net/Albania/Hoxha/TheTitoites-EnverHoxha-1982.pdf

Just Read

woodsmoke

 

At the first stirrings of my radicalism as a thoughtful 15 year old who wanted a better world, I didn’t give the small local provincial Communist Party branch much thought as a vehicle for my politics: seduced by the big notion of revolutionary change, the ideas and positions of the Communist Party of Great Britain (the name an affront to my Irish republicanism) held little attraction. It struck me then that its ambition was to be a think tank for the Labour Party. I was more attracted by the Diggers celebrated on the branch banner than the mild reformism that came from the CP. It was only later when I read the history books that I came to appreciate it wasn’t always like that.Britain's Communists the Untold Story

That awareness came back when reading Britain’s Communists: The Untold Story By John Green as he recalls the fact that the contributions of individual communists to the political and cultural life of Britain have largely been ignored or airbrushed out of “mainstream” British history and journalism. This book is not about the politics of the CPGB. It adds little to the analysis about what the Party policies were and why, not about where the Party went left, right or wrong. You won’t find any exploration of how its demise in 1991 was hastened by Tankies or Euro communists. One of the delights in reading this was when a person jumps out at you – I met her, Nan Berger, well I didn’t know that. Not surprising the there was a modest about communists and their service. This book is about the achievements of the CPGB and its members and supporters. It is a celebration of individual and collective successes and the impact the Party had on everyday UK life. For me, Green succeeds in his aim:

“what I am attempting to do here is to demonstrate that communists do belong in the mainstream of British society, despite the Party’s small size and lack of electoral support”. In doing so, the book attempts to achieve what the historian E.P. Thompson thought of as “an act of reparation, rescuing the defeated from the enormous condescension of history.”

Britain’s Communists: The Untold Story By John Green (with contributions from Andy Croft and Graham Stevenson) Artery Publications 2014, 335 pages.

 

 

45. Guilty to the charge of promoting revolution

The struggle of all the people in the world against American imperialism will be victorious! 1965

but exporting revolution?  


The revolutionary internationalist orientation that defined Chinese foreign policy during the 1960s occurred against the background of the struggle against modern revisionism within the international communist movement. The polemics assisted many revolutionaries in breaking away from the old, reformist politics that had long dominated communist parties in many countries. Revolutionaries built new anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist and Marxist-Leninist-Maoist organizations and parties. A great many activists and organisations uncritically adopted the positions of the Communist Party of China led by Mao, looking towards Beijing as much as previous communists had looked to the Soviet Union for inspiration and guidance. The importance of Maoist China offering a genuine alternative to USSR communism, providing intellectual and practical support to rebels and revolutionaries throughout the world, had a receptive audience of foreign friends of China. There is deservedly a whole library of writing and discussion on China’s foreign policies, this post focuses narrowly on one idea that was once levelled against the People’s Republic under Mao Zedong.

China was a model in the struggle for national liberation. Chinese leaders expressed the belief that China’s experience was directly applicable to the circumstances in many other countries. As the self-styled leader of newly independent and developing nations, termed the Third World, China supported many struggles in Asia, Africa and Latin America. These struggles were seen as part of a global movement in which “the countryside” (i.e., the peripheral states of the Global south) would rise against and conquer “the cities” (the countries of the developed and industrialized Second and First Worlds). The similarities with the CCP’s own struggles during the Yan’an era were obvious.

What developed was the theoretical understanding that the experience in China had a universalist and historic ramifications for the communist project. Samir Amin succinctly highlights the importance of Mao’s analysis contained in his On New Democracy report:

“This thesis held that for the majority of the peoples of the planet the long road to socialism could only be opened by a “national, popular, democratic, anti-feudal and anti-imperialist revolution, run by communists.” The underlying message was that other socialist advances were not on the agenda elsewhere, that is, in the imperialist centres. Such revolutions could not possibly take shape until after the peoples of the peripheries had inflicted substantial damage on imperialism.”[i]

revolutionary struggles

Militancy and support for worldwide revolution peaked during the Cultural Revolution, when China’s outlook on liberation struggles seemed to take its cue from Lin Biao’s famous 1965 presentation “Long Live the Victory of People’s War!” This speech predicted that the underdeveloped countries of the world would surround and overpower the industrial nations and create a new communist world order. While Lin’s statement focused exclusively on the U.S. as the target of revolutionary struggle, to the exclusion of the other Western imperialist powers, and downplayed the possibilities for revolutionary struggle in the imperialist countries, it had a powerful revolutionary thrust.

Ironically what is well documented is U.S. efforts to destabilize and eventually utilizing the CIA in place of the Pentagon, and creating instability and chaos to topple governments that defied Washington. Fermenting counter-revolution and armed intervention has been an open element in US foreign policy. While China supplied revolutionary groups with rhetorical and, in some cases, material support, the ideological crusade that came from China stressed the importance of revolutionaries in each country working to their own conditions. Given China’s own level of development, support for the friendly nations and political/revolutionary parties in Asia, Africa and Latin America, was demonstrated, symbolically in its publishing programme and, in various posters.[ii] Less public material aid was supplied but seldom advertised.

The culture and politics of Maoist China permeated global radicalism in the sixties often that impact through enthusiasm for Maoism driven by what non-Chinese understood the revolutionary line of Chairman Mao to be. Whilst militant diplomacy[iii] would expressed full sympathy and support for the heroic struggle, thanks for profound friendship and that the just struggles of the peoples of various countries in the world support each other, the expectations, and advice, was that:

It is imperative to adhere to the policy of self-reliance, rely on the strength of the masses in one’s own country, and prepare to carry on the fight independently even when all material aid from the outside is cut off. If one does not operate by one’s own efforts, does not independently ponder and solve the problems of the revolution in one’s own country…but leans on foreign aid—even though this be aid from socialist countries which persist in revolution—no victory can be won, or be consolidated if it is won.”[iv]

protest

Revolutionary Self-Reliance


 From the Chinese side there was no attempt to instigate a political culture of uncritically accepting the authority of the Communist Party of China or form a Comintern that would try to marshal parties around the world into line. The relationship with the CPC illustrates that, regardless of what pro-China communists might desire, the Communist Party of China did not seek to reproduce the ‘Socialist camp’ as it had existed with an unquestioned “leading” party. Instead an anti-revisionist trend arose from the Sixties that were not consolidated on an organisational basis. There was no “Beijing centre” to rebuild and lead component sections of a “Maoist International”. China’s communist party rejected the patriarchal party model of the Comintern and had no intention of mirco-managing a Maoist tendency or elevation peoples’ war as a criteria of acceptance. At one point in the late Sixties (as discussed below), Indian supporters influenced by Lin Biao, sought to promote Mao and China’s path as their own. This was swiftly criticised by the CPC. The liberation of a nation from imperialism, and of an oppressed people from its ruling class, could be the work only of the oppressed people themselves. From its own experience the Chinese Communist Party has learnt the importance of self-reliance.

With the dissolution of the Comintern during World War Two, Mao argued that it was “not necessary, at the present time, to have an international leading centre”, indeed, it was impractical as the internal situation are more complex and change more speedily and Mao argued, correct leadership must therefore stem from a most careful study of these circumstances.

Comrade Mao Tse-tung further pointed out: ‘Revolutionary movements can be neither exported nor imported. Although there has been help from the Communist International, the creation and development of the Chinese Communist Party were a result of the fact that there is a conscious working class in China itself. The Chinese working class had itself created its own party.[v]

In its practice and pronouncements, the Communist Party of China offered no encouragement to the resurrection of a Comintern like structure to its foreign supporters. There had been a mushrooming of parties with several organisations vying for political dominance within each country. There were exceptions with sole recognition given to parties such as the Communist Party of Australia (ML) led by Ted Hill and the Wilcock-led Communist Party of New Zealand established early fraternal relations with the Chinese Party, as did those parties engaged in armed insurrection in the Maoist stronghold of South East Asia (Philippines, Malaya, Thailand and Burma).

Elsewhere, Italy provides a typical European example whereby the Chinese-recognised Communist Party of Italy (Marxist-Leninist) -PCI (ML) – having at least seven rival ML groups and factions claiming a Maoist allegiance throughout the early seventies. In Germany, students “went about forming any number of brand new Marxist-Leninist parties-a new party in every city, it sometimes seemed. That became a big tendency in West Germany, bigger than in France and the other countries of the West.”[vi] By early seventies the number of ML groups numbered some 152 alone for Germany [vii]

Selecting one organisation amidst that fragmentation would have been very difficult. When Mao died in 1976 over a hundred Maoist organisations telegrammed their sorrow at the lost of the Great Helmsman. Understandably, there was the general expression for Marxist-Leninists to ‘unite’, from the CPC.

China’s relations with ideologically sympathetic organisations were to be characterised by self-reliance and an equality of status between organizations: not the relationship of a patriarchal father party and son party and the corollary of non-interference in party relationships   A well-publicised exception was Chinese relations with the Japanese communist parties. There was a breakdown in relations initiated by Mao Zedong in 1966 and subsequent CPC efforts to splinter the Japanese party by encouraging pro-Chinese Japanese communists.[viii]

China’s ideological allies, lacking the multi-lateral structures that would co-ordinate political line, could not comprise an organised international bloc; bilateral relationships were more suited to the argument for equality and non-interference in other parties’ affairs. Commenting on CPC-Comintern relations, in a 1960 speech, Zhou Enlai, said the Comintern failed in its general calls with the realities of different countries and it gave specific instructions to individual Parties instead of providing them with guidance in principles, thus interfering in their internal affairs and hindering them from acting independently and bringing their own initiative and creativity into play.[ix]

In the Seventies CPC had retained relations with parties that did not fully agree with its analysis. Thus while the AKP (ML) shared the CPC’s concerns about Soviet intentions it sharply differed with the Chinese admiration of European Unity, publically criticising the Chinese ambassador in 1972 for his favourable remarks regarding European co-operation and were prominent in the ‘No Campaign’ in the referendum against Norway becoming part of the European Community.[x]

Chou En-Lai’s comments to a 1970 Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) delegation were that the Communist Party of China was not leading struggles outside of China and that regardless of his international prestige as a revolutionary, Chairman Mao led no other party other than the Chinese Party.[xi] In the published notes[xii] of discussions with Chou Enlai and Indian revolutionary, Soren Bose, the point was repeatedly and emphatically made by the Premier,

The revolution of each country has its own characteristic. Therefore, I tell you, Comrade Bose, that a fraternal party is after all a fraternal party. This is not the same party; because in each country, it has different historical background, environment, and different historical development so to win revolution in   that   particular country, we must integrate Marxism-Leninism with the concrete condition of that country, and on that basis formulate a correct Marxist-Leninist line.

Comrade Chou reinforced this basic line throughout his encounters with foreign Marxist-Leninists, “By seeking truth from facts, we mean, the Indian revolution should rely upon the Indian Leftist comrades through their revolution to work out their own correct political line and also through their revolutionary practice, train and steel their own leadership and in this regard no other party can do instead of them.”

hammer

In reply to Soren Bose comment that “In the present International Communist Movement, Chairman Mao has his authority.” Chou En-lai argued, “To respect the – great Marxist-Leninist leader of the world is one thing and to take him as the leader of another party is quite another.”

After Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin, in the present day, Chairman Mao has persisted in truth of Marxism-Leninism and persisted in the principle to the highest degree and persisted in fighting against imperialism, revisionism, and world reaction and in big country like China, consisting of 1/4 of total population of the world, pursued the revolution of the proletariat This has made world people happy and also look forward to China”.   He added,” if we copy many of the instructions made by Chairman Mao to   the Chinese party and to the Chinese revolution, transplant all this to the Indian revolution that will not be correct. As comrades-in-arm and students of Chairman Mao …. it is not possible for us to offer you any information which is better than what you decide. So this is unnecessary and also impossible.

Indian Maoists was seen as drawing on an extrapolation of the Chinese experience expressed in Long Live the Victory of People’s War published in 1965[xiii] and mechanically applying “China’s Road” in India. The slogan that “China’s Chairman is Our Chairman”, for Indian Maoists, both opposed Indian chauvinism and signalled agreement with Chinese views on ‘modern revisionism’. However, in rejecting the significant of patriotism and nationalism, it ignored important elements inherent in the Chinese revolutionary experience.

…. Therefore, we ask the CPI (M·L) to consider. If you say CPC is a party of leadership and Chairman Mao leader of your party this is not proper. To be frank, this is not in correspondence with Mao’s thought and this is what Chairman Mao has constantly opposed. In 1957, at Moscow conference held by fraternal parties, Chairman Mao said that we opposed the patriarchal party. So saying, this not only referred to Khrushchev but also to Stalin. In his life time Stalin, in some of his information given by him to Chinese revolution, was wrong. Of course, Stalin was a great international communist and his merit outnumbered his demerits. On the question of opposing patriarchal parties some of fraternal parties agree with us, but some disagree. But those persons like Khrushchev disagreed. Nowadays the Soviet revisionist renegade clique still uses this tactics to direct those parties under the dictatorship. But their baton is less and less effective now.

……..

In view of the historical lessons in the present struggle against modern revisionism, it is duty of our party and your party as well as other fraternal parties fighting against modern revisionism to exchange information and help each other. But if we want to set up with reluctance an international organization, there will be mistakes. Now the situation is quite different from those during the days of the October Revolution. Now the situation has become more and more complicated…. the world is so vast that it is not possible for a party to know the conditions in different countries. And each party has its own historical conditions. Each country’s revolution is in different stages and also it is different in nature. It is only possible for the revolutionary party of a certain country to integrate the universal   truth of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete condition of that country..

 Chairman Mao said, when – the leftist parties come to contact with us, we should receive them and exchange views with them But it is improper for some party to try to set up an international organization and treat our party as a party of leadership just as some parties did to the CPSU. This is not proper. There are so many historical lessons in this field. By doing so, we cannot help the fraternal parties their ability of being independent and having initiative in their hand. On the contrary, to rely upon the opinions of a big party is very dangerous and it is bound for us to commit mistakes. It is so dangerous that when we do not know the conditions well, but we try to give opinions to direct certain parties. Therefore, our fraternal parties should keep in touch with each other on an equal footing and all the fraternal parties should have independence and initiative in deciding things; and this is question on which the success and failure of the revolution depend

….Now the world is divided into different nations and different countries. Though the pro-nationalism is the common thing for all of our parties but in making revolution, we should start from the specific conditions of our own country. So, in making revolution we must take into full account our national characteristic. If we regard the leader who is directing the revolution in another country as our own leader, this is not good because this will hurt the national feelings of that country and the working class of that certain country does not think it welt. So, we say, this is not proper in the fields of theory as well as practice.

Mao’s own attitude was evident in comments written on a memorandum submitted by the Liaison Office of the Party Centre, in December 1970:

Concerning certain foreigners, one should not seek their recognition of Chinese thinking. One should only expect their recognition of the contribution of the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the practice of their own national revolution. This is a fundamental principle. I have said this many times before. As for their thinking, if in addition to Marxism-Leninism, there is some unhealthy ideology, they have to sort it out themselves. We should not consider this as a serious problem and talk with our foreign comrades about it.[xiv]

However, Marxism-Leninism knows no national boundaries and is the property of the people of the world. Thus China actively, especially through the foreign language printing program, promoted the study of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tsetung Thought throughout the world. Utilising radio broadcast, media and individual relations with foreign friends, they did advocate that , in the title of an editorial later published as a pamphlet, Mao Tsetung Thought was described as the “COMPASS FOR THE VICTORY OF THE REVOLUTIONARY PEOPLE OF ALL COUNTRIES[xv] However the core message remained unchanged, as explained in Rennin Ribao editorial, September 18, 1968: “The Japanese revolution will undoubtedly be victorious, provided the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism is really integrated with the concrete practice of the Japanese revolution.” This was said to be of extremely important and far-reaching significance not only for the revolutionary cause of the Japanese people – you can substitute any people here – because it was also for the revolutionary cause of the people of all other countries.

It was not a new proposition having been a basic position: Integration of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of the revolution in the various countries is the most fundamental guarantee for the peoples to triumph in their revolutionary cause worked out by the working class and its conscious elements in each country. In Mao’s time, China reached out to the world beyond conventional diplomatic channels with officially micromanaged foreign visitors and their choreographed visit to a model commune, school, farmer or temple designed to create a favourable impression and create a public opinion that strove to spread Chinese cultural and political influence. Likewise a network of foreign-language broadcast and print media such as Peking Radio and periodicals including Peking Review and China Reconstructs, were part of an ‘external propaganda’ machinery that saw engagement with Maoist political theory and practice outside China.[xvi] The boxes of Red Books that brought socialism and Mao Zedong Thought to revolutionaries and anti-imperialists in dozens of countries; how the Cultural Revolution, the unprecedented political movement that Mao led to keep China on the socialist road, promoted support for world revolution: pc-pc001-08

Grasping Marxism-Leninism and integrating it closely with the concrete practice of the revolution in their own lands, the oppressed nations and the oppressed peoples will be able to win emancipation through their own struggle.’ i.e. don’t expect the Peoples Liberation Army to do the job.    If revolutionaries throughout the world do the hard work like their Chinese comrades did, one could, in the rhetoric of the day, be “confident that so long as the people of all countries integrate the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice of the revolution in their own lands, struggle heroically, defy difficulties and advance wave upon wave, their revolution will undoubtedly be victorious. Chairman Mao’s wise statement will certainly be transformed into glorious reality”

STATE-PEOPLE-PARTY

The Chinese Party conceive of relations as operating on three distinct levels; state to state; people to people; and party to party. Since the Communist Party is the leading centre in the Chinese state, a ruling political party, the distinction that the establishment of diplomatic and trade relations with a particular government in no way signifies China’s support or endorsement for that country’s social system or governmental leaders proved a bit difficult to untangle from criticism of foreign policy actions.

In a 1946 statement about the international situation, Mao indicated that in the aftermath of World War 2, the Soviet Union might make various agreements and compromises with the imperialist countries.

Such compromise does not require the people in the countries of the capitalist world to follow suit and make compromises at home. The people in those countries will continue to wage different struggles in accordance with their different conditions.[xvii]

During the Polemic the Chinese position remain constant that

It is necessary for the socialist countries to engage in Negotiations of one kind or another with the imperialist countries. It is possible to reach certain agreements through negotiations by Relying on the correct policies of the socialist countries. But necessary compromises between the socialist countries and the Imperialist countries’ do not require the oppressed peoples and nations to follow suit and comprise with imperialism and its lackeys. No one should ever demand in the name of peaceful coexistence that the oppressed peoples and nations should give up their revolutionary struggles. ” [xviii]

US Marxist, Clark Kissinger discussed the issue of the “contradiction” between normal state relations and support for revolutionary movements He would no longer agree with the sentiments, expressed in 1976, that “”Situations change, new tactics are called forth, but the basis of China’s role in world events – proletarian internationalism – remains fixed like the North Star.”[xix]

Organizations abroad which the Chinese Communist Party accepts as fraternal parties, were revolutionary in theory and, in many instances, revolutionary in their immediate practice. Without exception they openly declare their ultimate aim to be the overthrow of the established ruling class in the various nations with whom China had, or sought to have, state to state relations. Some were engaged in armed struggle, as in Thailand or the Philippines. An interesting and sole example was Poland, where China had normal state relations with the Polish government but party relations with the underground Polish Communist Party – Komunistyczna Partia Polski founded 1965 – not the governing, Polish United Workers’ Party (PUWP) regarded as revisionist

‘no saviours from on high deliver’


Visits to China, as a guest of the International Liaison Department of the Communist Party of China, were for the purpose of political discussions and exchange. Any briefings were explanation of policy not instructions. As Canadian communist Jack Scott, observed,

When representatives of these fraternal parties visit China, they do so for the purpose of conducting political discussions on problems of mutual concern. They are invariably the guests of the Party’s International Liaison Department and seldom, if ever, experience any contact with state officials or representatives of the friendship association. While I cannot vouch for how others respond to the situation, personal experience leads me to believe that the Chinese make every effort to maintain a basis of full equality throughout all discussions, however numerically insignificant the visiting delegation may be, and are quick to respond to any suggestions for improvement.”[xx]

Australian communist leader, Ted Hill recalled,

The Chinese Communists in all my discussions have always developed this universal truth of each Party and people solving their own problems. They steadfastly refused to give advice on internal problems of struggle, for example, in Australia. And I am certain this is correct. Some may expect and hope as we did of the Soviet Union, that someone, in this case, the Chinese Party will come along and solve all your problems. It won’t happen. And the attempt once pursued, but never by the Chinese Party, resulted in very great harm[xxi].

And there were different levels of support given to organisations. Along with other parties in South East Asia, there was substantial, direct financing of the Communist Party of Malaya from 1961-1989 that included exiled headquarter and clandestine radio broadcasting facilities. The clandestine radio station cease operations from China by 1981. By then Chinese foreign policy priorities had altered: Deng, when visiting Kuala Lumpar in November 1978 had said that China regarded her relationship with the Communist Party of Malaya “as a fact of history – something that should be left behind”[xxii]

With regard to Western Europe, there is, as with earlier press speculation, no documentary evidence of direct financial and material as were given to other Maoists from the Third World. [xxiii]Financial support for European parties may have taken on a separate commercial character with bulk annual subscriptions to periodicals – often a useful, not significant, injection of funds. Separate from the political organizational relations, but politically useful would have been commercially favoured trading pc-pc001-03arrangements to supply material and books from Foreign Language Press to disseminate Marxist writings, party pronouncements and favourable publications. Chinese interest in the European Marxist-Leninists saw support for them manifest itself in a number of standard approaches. Political recognition took the form of quoting exchanges of greetings (sent to the CPC) and organization views by the official Chinese Xinhua news agency and in the political weekly (then Peking) ‘Beijing Review’ from pro-China groups.

There were occasional discreet “embassy” contacts for discussions that had the character of information exchange. A subsidized visit to Beijing for Party discussions, with the financial costs borne by the host, of visiting fraternal party delegations, was a sign of some regard, but no CPC Congress invitation. In contrast, the Albanian Party Congress always featured foreign guests that allowed for bi-lateral contacts and discussions.

MILITARY AID


In July 1967, at the height of the Cultural Revolution, some remarks by Mao on China’s role in the world were pasted on the walls of Beijing streets in the form of big character posters. They were disseminated around the country as pamphlets and handbills two months later. In “China Must Become the Arsenal of the World Revolution,” Mao stated:

“A lot of places are anti-China at the moment, which makes it look as though we are isolated. In fact, they are anti-China because they are afraid of the influence of China, of the thought of Mao Tse-tung, and of the great Cultural Revolution. They oppose China to keep the people in their own countries down and to divert popular dissatisfaction with their rule. This opposition to China is jointly planned by U.S. imperialism and Soviet revisionism. This shows not that we are isolated, but that our influence throughout the world has greatly increased. The more they oppose China, the more they spur on popular revolution; the people of these countries realize that the Chinese road is the road to liberation. China should not only be the political center of the world revolution. It must also become the military and technical center of the world revolution”[xxiv]

 The words attributed to Mao were an exception to the standard emphasis in policy announcements that stressed, even at the zenith of the Cultural Revolution, less rhetorical references to “exporting revolution” and more oratory about the need for revolutionaries to take the responsibility for the necessary struggle in each nation. The CPC repeatedly stated the equality of all parties and rejected the idea that one national party can be the “centre” of the international working class movement.

The notion that ‘revolution could not be exported’ did not preclude support for fellow revolutionaries throughout the world. Behind the rhetoric there was material support with training visits by would be Third world revolutionaries and those engaged in national liberation struggles[xxv] Although Chen Ping remarks that the Chinese comrades sought to avoid involvement in “internal party affairs” and that even though to varying degrees reliant on Chinese largess “fraternal parties had the freedom to work independently of Peking’s directions…”[xxvi]

In the 1970s China’s military assistance to the peoples of Indochina was well known. Not as public was the military aid and training given to others: In 1971, a leading Chinese party member told a delegation of members of the Revolutionary Union from the U.S.: “We give all military aid free, and we only give it to people resisting aggression and fighting imperialism. If they are resisting aggression and fighting imperialism, why charge them? If they are not resisting aggression and fighting imperialism, why give it to them?”

China sent military aid to the peoples of Angola and Mozambique in their struggle against the Portuguese, to the Palestinians in their struggle, and many others. During the 1960s, the Chinese gave substantial support to liberation movements in the Middle East. Beginning in 1965, China provided light arms, mortars, explosives and medical supplies to the PLO, which was operating out of bases in Jordan and Lebanon. Contingents of PLO youth travelled to China for military training. Large quantities of Chinese weapons flowed into Lebanon’s “Fatah land” during the 1970s, and leaders of the PLO and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) visited China.

During this period the Chinese also supplied military aid to the People’s Front for the Liberation of Oman and the Arabian Gulf (PFLOAG) in the Dhofar province of Oman, and to Marxist-Leninist forces in southern Yemen. In North Africa, the Chinese gave military and economic assistance to the Eritrean liberation forces and to Algerian anti-imperialist forces before and after victory over French colonialism.[xxvii]

The CPC  supported the Malaysian revolutionaries with weapons, training and, important propaganda facilities, particularly the Voice of the Malaysian People radio station, which broadcasts from southern China.

Communist Party of the Philippines members visited and received training in China, and in 1971, the Chinese provided 1,400M-14 rifles and 8,000 rounds of ammunition in a ship sent from the Philippines by the CPP-led New People’s Army. [xxviii]

In Africa, China gave military aid and training to revolutionary movements afrian friendsthroughout the continent. In camps in Tanzania and Algeria, the Chinese armed and trained guerillas from FRELIMO in Mozambique, the PAIGC in Guinea-Bissau, ZANU in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), and the Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania and the ANC in South Africa.

In 1963, the Chinese sent military supplies from Tanzania and Congo-Brazzaville to guerillas in the eastern Congo led by a former education minister in Lumumba’s cabinet. Also, in a secret military camp in Ghana, Chinese military instructors trained cadre for revolutionary movements in French neo-colonies such as Dahomey (Benin), Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Mali.[xxix]

An essential part of Chinese military aid was political training of the officers and soldiers of the revolutionary armed forces. Chinese instructors stressed that outside military aid, while important, was secondary, and that self-reliant revolutionary struggle was of primary importance.

The Peruvian communist leader, ‘Chairman Gonzalo’, (party name of Abimael Guzmán) recalled receiving political and military training, on strategy and tactics, ambushes and demolition in China in the Sixties: “They were masterful lessons given by proven and highly competent revolutionaries, great teachers. Among them I can remember the teacher who taught us about open and secret work, a man who had devoted his whole life to the Party, and only to the Party, over the course of many years–a living example and an extraordinary teacher. …. For me it is an unforgettable example and experience, an important lesson, and a big step in my development–to have been trained in the highest school of Marxism the world has ever seen.” [xxx]

Consideration was given to what constituted a genuine anti-Liberation struggle – one led by a member of the feudal monarchy (e.g. Prince Sihanouk)- and whether a particular movement represents a struggle against external colonialism or aggression, or whether it is a strictly internal matter of a given country can only be resolved by the people of that country themselves. Where a national liberation movement, was led by a single, popularly supported organization or front, China established formal diplomatic relations with it (examples: the NLF of southern Vietnam, the PLO). Otherwise where several organisations are engaged in a particular struggle, China’s policy was to give assistance to all and to urge the unity of all against the common enemy (as in Angola, for example).

meng-zhaorui-photography-of-china

Under Mao, China sought to develop a worldwide united struggle against imperialism, colonialism, and superpower hegemony. This means that China was constantly seeking to unite all who can be united against the main enemy, and judges specific events in the light of the overall world situation. While there were more than diplomatic niceties in China’s criticism to the raising in India of the slogan “China’s Chairman is our Chairman, China’s Path is Our Path”, raised in the context of the Naxalite insurrection, the diplomatic imperatives for China to disassociate itself was evident: the 1962 border war between India and China was still fresh in political memory and the impression that the CPI (ML) was fighting for China, and not the liberation of the Indian masses, was to be avoided.

1970s – Changing priorities


From the 1960s to the 1980s, China made several foreign policy adjustments, and the core motive of all these was national security. “The question was to decide from which direction the main threat to China was coming[xxxi] observed Li Fenglin, a veteran Chinese diplomat of 40 years who served in the Chinese Embassy of Russia and East European countries, as well as in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The fundamental basis of Chinese foreign policy became the view that the Soviet Union now represents the main danger of war in the contempoarary period, it came to be expressed in what was (post-Mao codified in) the “Three Worlds theory”. This analysis, i.e., China’s assessment of Soviet degeneration into an imperialist power, contain the key to understanding China’s foreign policy.[xxxii] The effect on party-to-party relations was devasting for the international communist movement.

A process begun under Mao, whereby the relationship established by the CPC between parties began to change – formerly Party to party relations are founded on a philosophical concept quite different from those which determine the relations with all other groups. Where contacts in most areas are based upon a wide area of mutual advantage, and a shared desire for friendship and understanding, party to party relations were of a different nature, based on political and social outlooks held in common between political parties with common objectives, i.e., the abolition of capitalist social relations and the building of a socialist society. The definition of what constituted a fraternal party began to change as increasingly party to party relations were established with what were considered revisionists parties in the pursuit of the foreign policy goals of the Chinese state. (Here the identification of the party with the fate of the nation highlights the unresolved complexities of the different roles and responsibilities in building a socialist state. The attempt to separate deteriorating party relations from the affairs of state had failed miserably throughout the polemical exchanges in the early 1960s).

If China was said to have “friends all over the world”, the nature of those ‘friends’ were changing throughout the 1970s .A textual analysis undertaken by O’Leary suggests a downgrading of the Marxist-Leninist parties within the capitalist countries by the Chinese. A comparison of the reports given in 1969 (by Lin Biao) and (by Zhou Enlai) at 1973 Congress reflects the change:

Lin talked of uniting ‘to fight together with them’, in their capacity as ‘advanced elements of the proletariat’ while Chou merely sought unity with them in the context of carrying on ‘the struggle against modern revisionism’.[xxxiii]

China’s foreign policy saw the Chinese government seemingly supporting the government side in struggles in Ceylon, Bangladesh and Sudan. It appears that most of the leadership agreed on the emphasis and direction of policy. Defence minister Lin Biao may have been an exception. There were covert contact between the US and China with the first talks held in 1969. US secretary of state Henry Kissinger visited China in 1971, preparing the ground for Nixon’s visit the following year. This was the beginning of U.S.-China-Soviet triangular diplomacy whereby the common concerns over the Soviet threat saw each side aspired to utilize the other to balance that threat.

After 1973, there were parades of statesmen were honoured in Beijing for their contributions to the struggle against Soviet hegemony. Visits by fraternal organisations were easily out-numbered by the visits of bourgeois political personalities [the disgraced Richard Nixon and former Prime Minister Edward Heath to name but two] who were given greater official prominence in China’s media.

In the Middle East, China’s prior support for revolutionary movements was curtailed. Chinese aid to revolutionary forces in the Gulf States ended with diplomatic ties with Oman. Another sign of this reversal of Chinese foreign policy was a speech by Foreign Minister Qiao Guanhua in 1975 in which he said that China was reconciled to the existence of Israel as a “fait accompli.” In 1975, the Chinese government were largely perceived as supporting the U.S. and South African-backed UNITA in the Angolan civil war—in the name of defeating the Soviet Union’s attempts to gain a strategic foothold in Africa through its support for the MPLA.

Within a few years of Mao’s death in September 1976, the anti-revisionist trend had fragmented along discernible ideological lines partly as a result of a concerted intervention by the PLA designed to bring organisations into its exclusive political orbit. [See Albania builds an international] and those politically opposed to the direction in post-Mao China. The changes in the foreign policy priorities of the Chinese state did have an effect on the nascent Maoist movement.

The developments in Chinese foreign policy in the mid-1970s were a direct outgrowth of the Three Worlds Theory. Albanian criticism of the direction of China’s foreign policy engender a break in their party and state relations. [xxxiv]

This threw many Maoist parties and organizations around the world, who rely on Peking Review for finding its compass on international events, into a tailspin, from which most never recovered.[xxxv] China’s attitude towards the international movement was clarified in the aftermath of the Albanian intervention. The CCP had began to mend fences with alleged independent minded revisionists such as the visit by the PCE led Santiago Carrillo as early as 1971. The re-establishment of relations between the CPC and the ‘Eurocommunist’ parties increasingly raised concerns on the demarcation with modern revisionism that had been drawn in the sixties. This fundamentally question the purpose of the new Marxist-Leninist parties. It was not until after Mao’s death that an article in Renmin Ribao [People’s Daily April 2 1980] repudiated the ‘Nine Commentaries’ which had defined CPC ideological differences with the CPSU in 1963-64.

Retaining the form of its previous position, the CPC gutted its ideological judgments in the restoration of formal party-to-party relations after a lapse of nearly two decades that saw rapprochement on the basis of the acceptance of differences and of agreement that every party should “formulate its policies independently and develop relations with other parties on the basis of equality”. The ideological sting was taken out of these relationships as a wave of normalisation followed the visit to Beijing in April 1980 of General Secretary Enrico Berlinguer. The concept of modern revisionism was quietly buried under the rubric of acceptance of unspecified differences on some questions. A succession of revisionist parties sent delegations to China: the leaders of the Spanish CP (November 1980), the “interior” Greek CP (December 1980), the Communist Party of the Netherlands’ (June 1982) and the French CP (October 1982), the Swedish VKP, Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Belgian CP were feted and fed like the anti-revisionists before them.

So the 1980s began with fundamental questions for those who adhered to Three Worlds Theory and those whose allegiance remained with the CPC led by initially by Hua Guofeng and eventual dominated by Deng Xiaoping. Although most of the Maoist forces had not arisen out of the anti-revisionist Polemic of the PLA and CPC against the CPSU, the argumentation and line of the Polemic that went public in 1960 was regarded as their theoretical foundations. The majority of the new Marxist-Leninist organizations in Europe had arisen out of the radicalized student movement and counter culture of the late Sixties but regarded them as part of their ideological legacy. Despite the reputation for genuflecting at whatever decisions and changes occur in what was regarded as the leading socialist countries (as part of the internationalist duty to support existing socialism and revolution), the Maoist Left was not as servile as occasionally portrayed. The movement had been partly inspired by the Cultural Revolution in China, and when the legacy of that experience was being questioned in China what was the consequences for the international movement that grew out of that experience now repudiated by the Chinese communists and regarded by them as a discredited period?


POSTSCRIPT: How times have changed.

 Chinese UN troops

Pictured are Chinese troops on patrol in Juba, the capital of South Sudan in August 2016. Yet in numerous statements official Chinese policy has been, since 1954, that China has practices a foreign policy of non-interventionism, in accordance with its “Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence”: mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity; mutual non-aggression; non-interference in each other’s internal affairs; equality and mutual benefit; and, peaceful coexistence.

Twenty-First century China now has selective foreign intervention: set aside its presence through aid contributions in the form of infrastructure construction and joint economic enterprise, there is the construction of the first overseas Chinese military base on a 90-acre plot in Djibouti.

As one of five permanent members of the UN Security Council China’s human peacekeeping contributions have roughly quadrupled in size since 2004:

Accounting for over 10 per cent of the entire budget, China is now the second-largest provider of financial contributions to UN peacekeeping operations.

China’s human peacekeeping contributions to 2,567 personnel, more than all four other permanent Security Council members put together. The Chinese state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation is the largest oil investor in war-torn South Sudan, where the majority of its peacekeepers are stationed.

In April 2006, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular news briefing in Beijing that China did not provide help to Nepal’s Maoists, who take their inspiration from late Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong. “They call themselves Maoists, but they have nothing to do with any organization or person domestically in China”.

When asked by an Indian journalist whether or not China would support Indian Maoist rebels in their struggle against the Indian government the Deputy Director of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, Ai Ping said that the Chinese government “does not engage with illegitimate or extreme political parties“.[xxxvi]


 

ENDNOTES

[i] Amin (2016) Russia and the Long Transition from Capitalism to Socialism. Monthly Review Press p74. In the same vein stimulating treatment came be found in Biel, R. (2015) Eurocentrism and the Communist Movement. Kersplebedeb Publishing and J. Moufawad-Paul (2016) Continuity and Rupture; Philosophy in the Maoist Terrain Zero Books.

[ii] . SEE http://chineseposters.net/themes/foreign-friends.php

[iii] An extensive source of pamphlets, speeches, government statements and press articles which relate to foreign affairs: The Maoist Era in China — Relations with Foreign Countries. http://bannedthought.net/China/MaoEra/Foreign-General/index.htm

[iv] www.marxists.org/reference/archive/lin-biao/1965/09/peoples_war/index.htm

[v] Gelder, Stuart (1946) The Chinese Communists. London: Victor Gollancz p170

[vi] The Passion of Joschka Fisher. www.thenewrepublic.com/082701/berman082701.htm

[vii] Engel, Stefan (2002) “I Have Been Fighting All My Life” Speech at the MLPD Rally at the 10th Anniversary of the Death of Willi Dickhut May 9th, 2002. Wuppertal http://www.mlpd.de/wd/redemage.htm

[viii] See: Berton, Peter (2004) “The Chinese and Japanese communist parties: three decades of discord and reconciliation, 1966-1998” Communist and Post-Communist Studies 37 (2004) 361-372

[ix] ‘The Communist International and The Chinese Communist Party” Selected Works of Zhou Enlai. (Volume 2) Beijing: Foreign Language Press. http://www.marx2mao.org/Other/CI60.htm

[x]  The Chinese Communists must have valued their relationship with the AKP (ML) as a charge against the imprisoned Gang of Four, that they “slandered support for European unity as trying by hook or by crook to get into Europe and have good terms with European bourgeoisie”. How Our Party Smashed the Gang of Four (1978). Presentation by Comrade Chu to visiting delegation from the RCLB. Typescript notes. Personal Archive.

[xi]  Experiences of Chinese Revolution: Some Unpublished Notes

Asia News & Information Service. Montreal: 1980

[xii] Frontier, November 4th 1972

[xiii] Lin Biao (1965) Long Live the Victory of People’s War! In Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of Victory in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japan. Peking: Foreign Languages Press

[xiv] Barnouin, Barbara (1998) & Yu Changgen. Chinese Foreign Policy during the Cultural Revolution. London: Kegan Paul International pp150-151

[xv] Foreign Language Press (Peking) 1968

[xvi] Alexander Cook ed., Mao’s Little Red Book: A Global History (Cambridge, 2014) provides an illuminating selection of national case-studies describing the international reception of Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung a thematic selection from Mao’s speeches and writings.

[xvii] http://www.marx2mao.com/Mao/PIS46.html. “Some Points in Appraisal of the Present International Situation,” April 1946, Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Foreign Languages Press, 1969.

[xviii] SEE “Apologists of Neo-colonialism” (FLP 1963) written in response to the Soviet Union’s betrayal of anti-colonial struggle

[xix] C. Kissinger, China’s Foreign Policy – an outline. China Books & Periodicals 1976

[xx] Jack Scott, Discussion with Chinese Comrades (Notes on Chinese Foreign Policy. Red Star Collective: October 1977. The discussions on which this report is based were held in April/May 1976

[xxi] Hill, E.F. (1977) Class Struggle Within the Communist Parties, defeat of the Gang of Four Great Victory for World Proletariat. Australia: A Communist (Marxist-Leninist) Publication p43

[xxii] Chen Ping, My Side of History Singapore: Media Masters p436

[xxiii]  There were unsubstantiated claims that the Dutch Secret Service run MLPN received financial support from China. http://www2.rnw.nl/rnw/en/features/dutchhorizons/weeklyfeature/041020dh  

[xxiv] Jean Daubier, A History of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, 1971, p. 313. Daubier writes that the posters he saw suggested that Mao was addressing a foreign delegation when he made these remarks.

[xxv] Explored in various studies e.g. Van Ness, Peter (1970) Revolution and Chinese Foreign Policy: Peking’s support for wars of National Liberation. Berkerley: University of California Press, and Hutchinson, Alan (1975) China’s African Revolution. London: Hutchinson).

[xxvi] Chen Ping 2003 p:471 . Statements contradicted by Deng Xiaoping personal insistence that the clandestine radio station cease operations from China by 1981 (Chen Ping 2003:458). By then Chinese foreign policy priorities had altered: Deng, when visiting Kuala Lumpar in November 1978 had said that China regarded her relationship with the Communist Party of Malaya “as a fact of history – something that should be left behind” (Chen Ping2003: 483)

[xxvii] Lillian Harris, “The PRC and the Arab Middle East,” in China and Israel, 1948-1998, ed. Goldstein,1999. China and Israel finally established official diplomatic relations in 1992.

[xxviii] Noted in Chinese Foreign Policy during the Maoist Era and its Lessons for Today by the MLM Revolutionary Study Group in the U.S. (January 2007)

[xxix] See: lan Hutchinson, China’s African Revolution, 1975

[xxx] Interview With Chairman Gonzalo. http://www.redsun.org/pcp_doc/pcp_0788.htm

[xxxi] Xiaoyuan Liu (2004) & Vojtech Mastny (eds).

China and Eastern Europe, 1960s-1980s Proceedings of the International Symposium: Reviewing the History of Chinese-East European Relations from the 1960s to the 1980s. Beijing, 24-26 March 2004. Zurcher Beitrage zur Sicherheitspolitik und Konfliktforschung Nr.72 p 32

[xxxii] The Anglo-Chinese Education Institute (1979) China’s World View (Modern China Series No. 10). This volume explores the foreign policy prior to, and after the death of Mao, and focuses especially on the “Three Worlds Theory”.

http://www.bannedthought.net/China/MaoEra/ContemporaryCommentary/Anglo-ChineseEdInst/Pubs/China’sWorldView-MC-10-1979.pdf

[xxxiii] Brugger, Bill (1978) China: the impact of the Cultural Revolution. London, Croom Helm p241

[xxxiv] Greg O’Leary, “Chinese Foreign Policy under Attack: Has China Abandoned Revolution?” The Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs, No. 1 (Jan., 1979), pp. 49-67

Theory and Practice of the Revolution   Zëri i Popullit; July 7, 1977

“Chairman Mao’s Theory of the Differentiation of the Three Worlds is a Major Contribution to Marxism-Leninism,” People’s Daily, November 1, 1977.

Enver Hoxha, Imperialism and the Revolution (1978)

[xxxv] See: U.S. Marxist-Leninists Take Sides: the “Theory of Three Worlds” https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/ncm-5/index.htm#3worlds

[xxxvi] http://www.china.org.cn/china/CPC_90_anniversary/2011-06/11/content_22760204.htm

Oppose hegemonism, uphold world peace - maintain a foreign policy of independence and own initiative, 1983

1983 poster : Oppose hegemonism, uphold world peace – maintain a foreign policy of independence and own initative.


 

 

 

44. The 79 Group ,and beyond.

Reminded by recent separatists’ events in Catalonia, here is an echo of an earlier manifestation of left-wing nationalism nearer home in Scotland. The notion of progressive nationalism remains a contended issue on the Left with varying reductionist objections, unionist sentiments and dogmatic delusion in appointed leadership amongst the many hues of self-proclaimed socialists. [Text of 1979 article describing the far left in Scotland   Here ]

The 79 Group was a faction that sought to persuade the Scottish National Party to take an active left-wing stance, named after its year of formation, 1979. 1979 was a watershed year. It was firstly a year of crisis, not only for the SNP, but for Scottish nationalism and hopes for self-government in Scotland. On 28 March 1979, SNP votes helped bring down a minority Labour government in a vote of no confidence in the House of Commons. Under Margaret Thatcher’s leadership, the Tories went on to win the General Election. The SNP lost all but two seats in the election.   There are those who have a visceral hatred of the Scottish National Party and never forgave the SNP for voting with the Tories. Tribalism in politics is not restricted to the sectarian left.

The Scotland Act 1978 made provision for a referendum on devolution. Although the March 1979 referendum found a majority of those voting in favour (1,230,937 – around 77,000 more than those against). The referendum had a 64 per cent turnout, and therefore with 51.6 per cent voting yes, it only amounted to 32.9 per cent of the registered electorate. It was not enough to secure devolution in 1979 because of the Labour Party’s Scottish MP Robin Cook’s qualification clause in The Scotland Act. The Scottish parliament was eventually formed after another referendum in 1997.[i]

Gordon Wilson, a key figure in the SNP for decades, serving as assistant national secretary from 1963 to 1964, national secretary from 1964 to 1971 and executive vice-chairman between 1972 and 1973, took over the party’s leadership following the failed 1979 referendum on Scottish devolution.

One of the outcomes of the SNP’s decision vote against the government was the rise of a new generation of SNP politicians in the left-wing ’79 group’, a faction within the party. The idea for the 79 Group came from Rosie Cunningham, then assistant research officer for the SNP, and her brother Chris, during the devolution referendum in early 1979. The 79 Group, which included Alex Salmond, Rosie Cunningham and Margo MacDonald, attempted to pull the SNP further to the left. At the SNP national council meeting a few days after the result of the referendum, Margo MacDonald argued that because working-class Scots had supported devolution and middle-class Scots had opposed, the SNP , the 79 Group called on the SNP to target urban working-class voters as a radical alternative to the unionist Labour Party.

It seemed clear that the 79 Group’s aim of transforming the party was going to be a long, difficult one, however, opposition to the Thatcher-led Tories during the 1980s encouraged an equation of Scottish interests with left-wing politics. The 79 Group spent several years unsuccessfully arguing for more radical policies within the SNP. Its three guiding principles were nationalism, socialism and republicanism.

The following sketch draws heavily on the work of David Torrance, biographer of both Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond, who has chronicled the development of the 79 Group.

A group of eight SNP members who shared this opinion met on 10 March 1979. Before they could meet again, the SNP lost nine of its 11 seats in the 1979 general election; the poor result prompted a period of internal questioning by many SNP members about the direction the party should take. More than 30 attended a second meeting at the Belford Hotel in Edinburgh on 31 May which agreed to set up an “Interim Committee for Political Discussion”. This interim committee later became the 79 Group. … Three spokespeople were appointed, including Margo MacDonald and Alex Salmond. Stephen Maxwell became the group’s principal political theorist. (He authored the policy paper case for leftwing nationalism .)

They began producing campaign material in support of their policies, and standing for internal SNP posts. The established SNP wing, referred to as “traditionalists”, disliked the party appearing ideological. Winifred Ewing eventually formed the ‘Campaign for Nationalism in Scotland’ as a second internal SNP group to oppose the 79 Group. The party was riven by internal conflicts in the first four years of Wilson’s leadership over the emergence of the 79 Group that formulated a left-wing vision for the SNP and the ultranationalist Siol nan Gaidheal, described as “proto-fascist” by the party’s then leader, Gordon Wilson. The broad based membership were not committed to the establishment of a “socialist and republican Scotland”. At the 1979 SNP conference, 79 Group candidates were heavily defeated by those in the SNP who put achieving independence over all other policy considerations.

SCOTTISH RESISTANCE

The 79 Group were reinforced when in 1980, the former Labour MP and founder of the Scottish Labour Party (SLP), Jim Sillars, joined the SNP. The following year at the 1981 SNP conference, five members of the 79 Group were elected to the SNP National executive. It marked an increase in influence and, after a speech by Sillars, conference supported a motion calling for “a real Scottish resistance” including “political strikes and civil disobedience on a mass scale”. The new policy, dubbed “Scottish Resistance”, was unveiled in September 1981 with a logo consisting of figures with raised clenched fists. Sillars, who was elected as the SNP’s Executive Vice-Chairman for Policy, was put in charge of the campaign with the details planned by the Demonstrations Committee. He led the campaign on 16 October 1981 by breaking in, with five other 79 Group members, to the Royal High School in Edinburgh which had been converted to be the Scottish Assembly. The intention had been to symbolically read out a declaration on what the Scottish Assembly would have done to counter unemployment, but the participants were arrested before they had the chance, and a planned later mass demonstration was cancelled. Sillars was later fined for wilful damage by breaking a window to get in.

Radical symbolism, and rhetoric used exaggerated the political conversion to left and radical politics. The activities and political thrust of 79Group were presented as divisive and harmful by the SNP leadership. The 1982 conference of the SNP voted to ditch the civil disobedience campaign “Scottish Resistance” policy.

Gordon Wilson, the leader of the SNP at that time, warned delegates in the conference hall in Ayr, “I’m now convinced that the party will not recover its unity until all organised groups are banned,” he storms. “Those of us who put Scotland and the party above narrow personal or political obsession cannot and will not tolerate behaviour which is divisive and harmful.” [ii]

Wilson threatened to resign unless the conference passed a motion to proscribe all organised political groupings within the party passed by 308 to 188.

In light of the conference resolution, the 79 Group tried to circumvent the resolution and formed an interim committee as a “Scottish Socialist Society” outside of the SNP. The interim committee was nearly the same as the executive of the 79 Group. The National Executive declared that membership of this committee was incompatible with that of the SNP and moved to expel the leading 79 Group members. Alex Salmond, Kenny MacAskill, Stephen Maxwell, and others were expelled after unsuccessful appeals (later altered to suspensions that paved the way for their reinstatement). Roseanna Cunningham was not expelled, on the grounds that she was not a member of the interim committee. Margo MacDonald was not expelled but resigned from the SNP in protest. Other members of the 79 Group in party offices were left alone.

There was a diversity in this internal political opposition that lack a coherence to reshape the SNP. David Torrance noted, “the 79 Group suffered internal divisions of its own. A major point of disagreement was republicanism. Pushed by Rosie Cunningham and Gavin Kennedy, other members, such as Mr Salmond did not consider it a priority. Other social issue were treated similarly: a proposed opposition to a back-bench abortion bill at a 1980 meeting, the minutes record Mr Salmond querying the issue’s political relevance to the 79 Group.[iii] In terms of the party’s ideological outlook, the 79 Group’s impact was hard to detect, at least in rhetorical terms its analysis was evident during the referendum campaign. Over time, Salmond’s “socialism” softened to become “social democracy”. The group’s fervent Republicanism contrasts to Mr Salmond’s later support for the Queen. He pledged to keep the monarchy if there was a Yes vote for Scottish independence.

The SNP are to the left of Labour on many issues. This does not mean they are a socialist party; pragmatism has got the SNP this far. There is the absence in the struggle for independence of a wider ideological framework. The assertion of the rights of small nations can often fall to a romantic notion. The 79 Group did not recast the SNP as a radical left-wing alternative to Labour, it did make the Nationalist movement more politically professional and moderately left-of-centre competitor. Nowadays the SNP talks of “independence within Europe” (a position raised by Stephen Maxwell) and is proposing a social democratic anti-austerity agenda and is standing by its commitment to get rid of trident nuclear missiles. When the effect of the 79 Group is judged in an electoral context, the Group can be seen as central to the party’s mainstream, at least in terms of personalities. The group was eventually banned and its leading members were expelled in 1982. Its members were subsequently readmitted in the late 1980s and Salmond won the leadership contest in 1990. Many attained senior positions in the Scottish Government after 2007; former First Minister Alex Salmond (2007-2014) was a leading member of the group, as was Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish justice minister. Stewart Stevenson was transport minister and Roise Cunningham – the 79 Group’s original secretary –minister for the environment.

In November 2014, Nicola Sturgeon succeeded Alex Salmond as leader of the SNP after the previous month’s referendum result saw Scotland vote against becoming an independent country by 55.3% to 44.7%. On a turnout of 84.59%, some 1,617,989 [44.7%] voted YES, while reflecting the division within Scottish electorate, a majority 2,001,926 [55.3%] voted No to the question, “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

Pro-independence outside of the SNP

The SNP has seen a number of left and far left groupings that advocated independence and the question asked has been what would it take to ‘bring the pro-independence left together’? Projects to unite the pro-independence left in campaigns and organisations have, so far, flounder on the political contradictions between the consistent groups. Unlike in the broader-based SNP where politics was often subsume to the singular expression of independence sentiment, and any focus on what post-independent Scotland would represent remains a vague ambition, the political nature – and preferably republican and socialist – is contested within the more polemical pro-independence left groups. They are not interested in promoting a nominally ‘independent’ Scotland in which little or nothing has changed but merely exchanges the union jack for the saltire. Many of these groups have tried to work within the SNP, and like the 79 Group were unsuccessful in bringing about a transformation in the SNP that shaded red its tartan nationalist sentiments.ayecomrade

Formed in 1973, the Scottish Republican Socialist Clubs, based initially in Glasgow, predated the 79 Group with a similar mission to introduce socialism to the Scottish National Party (SNP) and grow support for Scottish independence among the left. Inspiration was drawn from the politics of Scottish Marxist, John Maclean and expressed support for James Connolly and Irish republicanism. There was a split the following year that resurrected the name of John Maclean’s Scottish Workers Republican Party. In 1976 most of the members of the SWRP joined former MP Jim Sillars’ Scottish Labour Party active between 1976–1981. When the SLP disband its members scattered; some re-joined the Labour Party, others chose to join the SNP, including both Sillars and Alex Neil, former UK Labour Party’s senior Scottish researcher.

After the expulsion of the 79 Group from the SNP, a substantial section of the SRSC split to form the Socialist Republican Socialist League. The other section of the Republican Clubs were instrumental in the formation of the Scottish Republican Socialist Party in 1982. In 1993 the SRSP created the Scottish Republican Forum.

Towards the end of the last century, the SRSP joined with the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) reforming as a cross-party movement in a small activist group, the Scottish Republican Socialist Movement. There was some dual membership with activists of both SRSM and the SNP. This came to an end in December 2004, when the SNP leadership designated the SRSM as a proscribed organisation.

The SNP national secretary Dr Alasdair Allan explained “Membership of this organisation [SRSM] has in the past not been viewed as inconsistent with membership of the SNP.However, as this organisation is now advertising itself as being affiliated to the Scottish Socialist Party, the NEC has deemed the SRSM to be a political party. Consequently, members are advised that membership of the SRSM will no longer be treated as consistent with membership of the SNP.” [iv]DSC_7987

The SRSM itself disengaged from the SSP in October 2006, when the SRSM announced that it was disaffiliating from the Scottish Socialist Party, citing unhappiness with unionist elements within the party and the failure of their third attempt to entrench a commitment to independence in the party constitution.

“…..However, the wider reason for our decision is the Party’s minimal activity on the national question. While there is no doubting the SSP’s unequivocal stance for a Scottish Socialist Republic that has been made clear in manifestoes, there is doubt within the SRSM about how the Party intends to carry it forward. We believe that our cause has been relegated behind a list of issues rather than made central to these issues. I do not mean to open up a long political argument. I merely intend to at least give you the courtesy of a reason. This was a majority decision. A minority of SRSM members, myself included, intend to stay in the Party as individual members. I trust that the SRSM’s status as a cross-party movement will mean that this should not pose a conflict.“[v]

February 1996 saw a coalition of left-wing groups come together in the Scottish Socialist Alliance in which the largest group was Scottish Militant Labour, previously part of a trotskyist group operating inside the UK Labour Party.

The fragmentation of the left was a historical legacy that saw different groups left of the Labour Party, existing with sectarian “divisions within divisions”, all working against each other. The success of Sheridan and SSP policy co-ordinator Alan McCombes, two of the founders of the SSA, was to unite most of the elements of the left under one banner. Scottish Militant Labour (CWI), formed the majority of the SSA and then SSP leadership, had once been firmly in the Left British unionist camp. However, in 1998 they changed their position. In 2001 a split in CWI breakaway, International Socialist Movement constituted the majority of the SSP leadership. Other UK Left forces represented in the SSP were the small Workers Unity Platform (WUP) (CPGB-Weekly Worker, Alliance for Workers Liberty and Revolutionary Democratic Group), and the larger Socialist Workers Party (SWP) who joined the SSP in 2003. (The SWP has since abandoned its unionist position with its continuation of the UK state to maintain working class solidarity and given its support to Scottish self-determination and independence.) Individual members of the Communist Party of Scotland, formed in 1992 when the CPGB disbanded, joined the SSA although there was no formal affiliation between the two organisations. This unity of the left highlights an obvious point: if the SNP were truly a “radical” left-wing force, none of the other parties would have room to exist.

The decision was taken to transform the SSA into a party to contest the first elections to the new Scottish Parliament, when, as the Scottish Socialist Party,Tommy Sheridan, then convener of the party, was elected in Glasgow. The period following that election saw sustained growth for the SSP, where it doubled in size in twelve months, and the RMT trade union affiliated to the party. In 2003, the SSP was buoyed by the election of five additional MSPs across Scotland. It lost all MSPs in the 2007 elections.

That the differences between the component organisations were retained with the SSP was clear following the forced departure of Sheridan, after a trial about his personal life where fellow executive members testified for the crown prosecution; group warfare spilled out into the public domain. The SSP began to unravel in the face of the media circus around the trial. Sheridan was associated with, for a short time, a new organisation, Solidarity that launched itself in 2006. One contested analysis of the debacle that followed was provided by the participant Republican Communist Network in its 2011 analysis, Beyond The SSP and SOLIDARITY – ‘Forgive and forget’ or ‘Listen, Learn and then move on’? [vi]

logoconnolly-commemoration-2016images

 

Founding members of the Scottish Socialist Party in 1998 , the far left Republican Communist Network, associated with Allan Armstrong who writes extensively on the subject of republican communism, produced a journal called Emancipation and Liberation. The Republican Communist Network (RCN), which is in the socialist republican and ‘internationalism from below’ traditions of James Connolly and John Maclean, were first constituted as a platform in the newly founded Scottish Socialist Alliance (SSA) in 1996.

It formally disaffiliated from the Scottish Socialist Party in 2012 explaining that in its judgement the SSP no longer united the majority of the Left in Scotland, taking the opportunity to work with majority of socialists, who by then were outside SSP (and Solidarity) ranks and that a new organisation would be needed to bring about such unity in the future. In that spirit RCN was an active participant in the non-party-political campaigning organisation, Radical Independence Campaign affiliating at its first conference in Glasgow in November 2012.  Its slogan was “Another Scotland is Possible.” It was active on issues of social justice, sustainability, democracy, equality and peace, and welcomed activists from all parties and none. RCN remained a small but consistent voice for left wing republican nationalism in the pro-independence movement. However in May 2016 RCN declared that it was no longer an interventionist political organisation, but would continue as a forum to encourage political debate amongst the Left.

Outside of the SNP, the pro-independence radical trend has continue to create new vehicles and movements, realigned activists into new (albeit temporary) relations. It was new small but youthful organisation – the International Socialist Group (ISG) (a breakaway from the SWP) – to take the initiative which brought the majority of the Left in Scotland together in the Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) launched on November 2012.th-10

RCN observed that “RIC is a coalition that includes revolutionaries and non-socialist reformers. This is as how it should be in any genuine united front formed in a non-revolutionary situation. The non-socialists in RIC, e.g. from the SNP or the Greens, are openly organised independently outside RIC, as well as having individual members within RIC to put across their views. The RCN, SSP and SWP are affiliated to RIC, whilst Common Weal, which promotes Nordic-style social democratic politics, is also affiliated.”

Amongst the most recently RISE (representative of its values: Respect, Independence, Socialism and Environmentalism) have asserted a more ostentatiously left-wing agenda in favour of independence and in which Scotland’s lively arts scene plays an important part. Born from the Independence referendum, launched in August 2015, it again brings together an alliance of socialists, campaigners, trade unionists, community activists, cultural figures and academics. It presents itself as “Scotland’s Left Alliance”.rise

In October 2017, RISE issued an optimistic statement “unequivocal in its support for the independent republic of Catalonia”.

“RISE believes the international community must now recognise Catalonia as a sovereign and independent state. In particular, we call on the Scottish Government, the UK Government and the European Union to recognise Catalonia’s new independent state status based on the right of nations to self-determination.

“This vote was the only possible democratic response of the Catalan Parliament to the violent repression of the Spanish state of the 1 October referendum and its attempt to impose direct rule through article 155.

“All attempts by the Spanish state to destroy the independent republic of Catalonia must be resisted internationally. RISE will be participating in protests and other forms of solidarity to show that supporters of democracy across Europe and the world stand with, and will defend, the Catalan republic.”[vii]

 

In the 2014 Referendum debate the overwhelming majority of the Left in Scotland opted to give critical support to the ‘Yes’ campaign. The SSP was permitted (along with the Green Party) to join the official SNP front – ‘Yes Scotland’ but producing their own arguments in THE CASE FOR AN INDEPENDENT SOCIALIST SCOTLAND.

Sheridan, shunned by the SNP leadership, launch his own strongly Scottish nationalist ‘Hope over Fear’ road show. The small minority of the Left, who were in the ‘No’ campaign in Scotland, consisted of the Red Paper Collective (an alliance of Labour Lefts and the Communist Party of Britain), the Left populist, George Galloway, and the Glasgow South branch of the Left Unity Party. Both the SSP and the breakaway Solidarity led by its Tommy Sheridan opted to join the ‘Yes’ campaign.

When Scotland has voted against becoming an independent country by 55% to 45% it did not lay the question to rest. The murmur of another referendum remains as the SNP argues that it is strongly committed to giving Scotland a choice at the end of the Brexit process. In a speech given by Nicola Sturgeon at Bute House on Scotland’s future in March 2017, she laid out a near future where the Scottish Government would not introduce legislation for an independence referendum immediately, suggesting that at the end of Brexit negotiations the Scottish Government would set out its judgment on the best way forward – and on the precise timescale of the people of Scotland having a choice on their future.[viii]


 

ENDNOTES 

[i] On its return to power in 1997, Labour set out its plans for a Scottish Parliament and a referendum in September that year. 1,775,045 (74.3 per cent) voted in favour of a Scottish Parliament, with 614,400 (25.7 per cent) against; and 1,512,889 (63.5 per cent) supported giving the Parliament tax-varying powers, with 870,263 (36.5 per cent) against. The Scottish Parliament was established in 1999. It was a dozen years before the SNP could break labour’s hold and in the 2011 elections the SNP won a resounding victory.

[ii] David Torrance , SNP fall-out that saw Salmond expelled but put Party on new path .The Scotsman March 18 2009

[iii] David Torrance , SNP fall-out that saw Salmond expelled but put party on new path .The Scotsman March 18 2009

[iv] http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/snp-moves-to-expel-left-wing-republicans-1-1049445

[v] Letter to the SSP [National Secretary Pam Currie] from the SRSM [Gerry Cairns Convenor SRSM] October 29, 2006

[vi] http://republicancommunist.org/blog/2011/12/23/beyond-the-ssp-and-solidarity-forgive-and-forget-or-listen-learn-and-then-move-on/

[vii] http://www.rise.scot/blog/

[vii]https://www.snp.org/nicola_sturgeon_speech_scotland_s_referendum

RIC

Photo of Edinburgh RIC banner – Patricia Kirk and John Lanigan

 

Further reading

  • Torrance,‘The journey from the 79 Group to the modern SNP’, in G. Hassan (ed.), The modern SNP: from protest to reaction (Edinburgh, 2009), pp. 162-7.
  • Torrance, The Battle for Britain: Scotland and the Independence Referendum (London, 2013)
  • Maxwell, Arguing for Independence: Evidence, Risk and the Wicked issues (Edinburgh,2013)
  • Geoghegan, The People’s Referendum: Why Scotland will never be the same again (Edinburgh 2015)
  • Macwhirter, Disunited Kingdom: How Westminster Won A Referendum but Lost Scotland (Cargo Publishing 2014)
  • Pittock, The Road to Independence? Scotland Since the Sixties (London 2008)
  • Macdonell, Uncharted Territory: the story of Scottish Devolution 1999-2009 (London 2009)
  • Scott & I.Macleay,Britain’s Secret War: Tartan Terrorism and the Anglo-American State (Edinburgh, 1990)